Following on from last week’s blog concerning the Euro 6 legislation – in which we gave you all the basic information – this week we’re addressing some of your more pressing questions about it, and how it could affect your business.
We went into more detail about this in our blog last week, but to recap briefly: the Euro 6 is the latest round of regulations set by the European Commission. It controls the amount of harmful gases the motor vehicles can emit. The most common way that vehicles can limit these emissions under the Euro 6 is by using a Selective Catalytic Reduction system. This uses a reductant called AdBlue, which is injected into the vehicle’s exhaust stream.
Essentially, AdBlue is the most widely recognised name for diesel exhaust fluid. It’s used to break down harmful nitrous oxide (NOx) into nitrogen and water vapour, neutralising its most toxic effects. Compatible vehicles store AdBlue in a special extra tank, and topping it up is a simple process that takes about as long as topping up the windscreen washer jets.
Some manufacturers are experimenting with a few. Fiat Professional, for example, has chosen instead to use the Low Pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation to meet Euro 6 in its latest Ducato. The LP-EGR is one of the latest developments in Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) technology that’s been a staple of diesel vehicles in the past few years.
There’s not a simple answer to this, as it varies between vehicles and trim levels. The extra weight of the SCR system – as well as a full AdBlue tank (itself around 15-20 litres) – will likely have an effect on the average vehicle’s kerb weight, which may indeed affect its payload capacity in turn.
Some manufacturers have found a way to increase the Gross Vehicle Weight to compensate, levelling out the payload loss. Unfortunately though, it’s usually not possible to increase the GVW on the average 3.5 tonne van without essentially turning it into a Heavy Goods Vehicle, so you may well find that on the whole Euro 6 does indeed have a marginal effect in reducing payload capacity for most vehicles.
Another tricky one; once again, it usually depends on the vehicle in question. They’re more expensive to buy, because manufacturers are passing on the cost of the extra emission control systems. Often, though, you’ll get extra standard equipment to make up for it. Regularly refilling the AdBlue tank also carries its own associated cost. This is again subject to variation; some consume a litre of it every 250 miles, whereas others may go up to 800 before they need a refill. On top of this, some manufacturers have had to reduce the size of the regular fuel tank to accommodate the AdBlue tank.
But it’s not all downsides; Euro 6 increases fuel economy, which means that engines are more efficient and therefore slightly less expensive. Euro 6 engines are also more powerful than Euro 5 counterparts, taking your vehicles faster and further. The reduction of CO2 emissions from your fleet, too, may well mean that you can make savings on taxation.
There’s so much variation in all these factors that it’s impossible to give a simple, straight answer. But it does mean that although there are some higher costs involved, Euro 6 is far from bad news for your refrigerated vehicles.
It’s impossible to give a firm answer here, as there’s so much uncertainty surrounding Brexit at the moment. But in all likelihood, nothing much is expected to change. The UK government is technically free to release its own set of legislation, but that would then require vehicle manufacturers to start complying to a whole new set of rules. That would probably mean more costs for them, which would then be passed onto consumers. It’s far simpler for the UK to continue following the EU’s lead, which industry experts are predicting is what will happen.
We hope this has cleared up any queries you may have about Euro 6 legislation. If you have any that weren’t addressed by this blog, our friendly experts at CoolKit are here to help! You can reach us on 0845 459 5418. Meanwhile, if you’re all set in terms of knowledge, feel free to browse our range of fridge vans and freezer vans for all your refrigerated transport needs.
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