European regulations governing vehicle emissions and fuel quality have recently been tightened up to bring them in line with those in California, the most stringent in the world. The EU’s Auto/Oil proposes that emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and particulates should be cut by 20-40% by 2000 and by a further 30% by 2005.
Further proposals will cut sulphur, benzene and aromatics in the fuel itself. Leaded petrol will be completely phased out from 2000, being replaced for the small numbers of ‘oldtimers’ that cannot use unleaded petrol by a lead free additive to be added by the consumer.
Later this year, new regulations will control the annual/bi-annual inspection and maintenance checks. Recently amendments put forward by French and German MEPs include mandatory longer life for anti-pollution equipment, compulsory on-board diagnostics for diesel engined vehicles and cold start emissions tests. If all the proposals become law, it could lead to a zero-emissions car by 2005.
It is also likely that the five litre per 100km car (56.8mpg) will become compulsory by 2005 and the three litre per 100km car (94.7mpg) by 2010.
Target emission limits from road transport vehicles by 2000 and 2005 set by the EU are shown in Table 1.
Petrol cars (mg/m3)Pollutant Year Year 2000 2005
Carbon monoxide 2.3 1.0Hydrocarbons 0.2 0.1NOx 0.15 0.08
Diesel carsPollutant Year Year 2000 2005
Carbon monoxide 0.64 0.5Hydrocarbons 0.56 0.30NOx 0.50 0.25Particulates 0.05 0.025}}