The Euro 6 legislation has been in existence for a few years now, but as of September 2020 it will have an even more pressing significance for many van operators when London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone comes into effect. To be compliant with the ULEZ, any van operators who travel in London will need to make sure that by 2020 their vehicles are fitted with Euro 6 engines. Those who don’t will face heavy fines, so operators with large fleets may want to look at replacing their vehicles slowly around now, so that they’re fully ready by 2020.
A total of 9,400 deaths a year in London are suspected to be related to London’s air quality. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) plays a major part in the development of these illnesses, and it’s the vehicles on London’s streets – both public and private – that are contributing to the city’s consistently high NOx levels.
London also faces mounting pressure to mitigate the effects of climate change, and these two reasons are the primary motivating factors for why London mayor Sadiq Khan is establishing London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone, which aims to crack down on harmful vehicle emissions, with NOx chiefly amongst them. Euro 6 engines are becoming mandatory for vehicles within the city’s limits from when the ULEZ comes into full force in September 2020.
Essentially, Euro 6 is the most recent legislation – set by the European Commission – that regulates harmful vehicle emissions. The legislation began in 1993 with Euro 1, and in the near-25 years since successive updates to it have resulted in a measurable and significant reduction of emissions like NOx. Other emissions it aims to tackle are levels of sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, CO2 (carbon dioxide) and diesel particulate matter emissions. Though not all are necessarily widely known to the general public, all have the capacity for severe harm to environmental (not to mention human) health.
London’s mayor and senior officials hope that by allowing only the cleanest, greenest vehicles in London, it will improve the quality of life for everyone who lives, works in and visits the city.
In order to effectively reduce NOx levels, smaller vans and vehicles (i.e. those that weigh up to 1700kg) need to be fitted with a simple NOx storage catalytic converter, which will neutralise the most harmful effects of the emissions. Meanwhile, larger vans and vehicles that weigh over 1700kg (including HGVs) will require a Selective Catalytic Reduction system, otherwise known as an SCR. This injects a reductant called AdBlue into the vehicle’s exhaust stream, which neutralises the NOx emissions by converting them into harmless water vapour and nitrogen.
The post this week is intended just to give you a broad overview of the Euro 6 legislation. On the blog next week, we’ll be answering your most pressing questions about the Euro 6, so that you can come away with a more detailed understanding of how it may affect your business.
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