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Meeting Euro 5 Emissions Standards and Preparing for Euro 6

Australia saw its first smoke emission regulations in the 1970s. This was, followed by the introduction of emissions standards aligned with Euro 1 in the mid-1990s and since that time, Australia has closely followed each new European standard for heavy vehicle emissions control. New Zealand has been using their Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Exhaust Emissions 2007; however, that is about to change.

Meeting Euro 5 Emissions Standards and Preparing for Euro 6

The current Australian emissions standard is Euro 5, but in November 2024 Australia will move to Euro 6. New Zealand is adopting Euro 5 standards from April 2024 and will commence aligning with Euro 6 at the same time as Australia. These Euro 5 and Euro 6 standards are much tighter, forcing vehicle manufacturers to invest heavily in emissions-reduction technology. The environment benefits from this, but there are also benefits for consumers because some technologies introduced to reduce emissions, such as high pressure, common rail diesel injection, have improved fuel efficiency.

In this article, we’ll explore what you need to know about the upcoming shift to Euro 6.

What are the Euro 5 emissions standards?

The Euro 5 emissions standards are designed to reduce noxious emissions from all road vehicles. Reducing these air pollutants is important for the planet and our general health, as long-term exposure increasing the risk of heart and lung disease, cancer and other illnesses.

Essentially, the Euro 5 emissions standards set the following limits:

·        NOx (Nitrogen oxides) – 2000mg/kWh

·        Particulate Matter – 30mg/kWh

·        CO (Carbon monoxide) – 4000mg/kWh

·        HC (Hydrocarbons) – 550mg/kWh


What are the Euro 6 emissions standards?

Euro 6 is a big change for vehicle manufacturers, with allowable emission levels set to plummet by up to 80%. In both Australia and New Zealand, this change affects new heavy vehicle models. The new emission limits are as follows:

·        NOx (Nitrogen oxides) – 460mg/kWh

·        Particulate Matter – 10mg/kWh

·        CO (Carbon monoxide) – 4000mg/kWh

·        HC (Hydrocarbons) – 160mg/kWh

These new limits are huge decrease from Euro 5, and there are some other key differences. In particular, emission control systems will have higher durability standards and here will be stricter requirements for onboard diagnostics that monitor emissions. For example, the threshold at which a malfunction warning is given will be reduced.


Which vehicles do Euro 6 standards apply to?

Australia is adopting the Euro 6 standards, although this falls under the Australian ADR 80/04 standard. New Zealand is also adopting the same standard. This new standard applies to all vehicles with a gross vehicle mass of 3.5 tonnes or more.

The distinction between new and old models is important. New models being supplied to Australia or New Zealand for the first time after 1 November 2024 must comply with Euro 6. However, if a model is already being sold and meets Euro 5 standards, it may continue to be sold until 1 November 2025 when these models must also meet the Euro 6 standard.

There is no change for vehicles already registered and on the roads, and these trucks don’t need to be retrofitted to meet Euro 6.


What about Japanese and American trucks?

Trucks manufactured in Japan or the US don’t necessarily follow the exact Euro 5 or Euro 6 guidelines. Much like Australia’s ADR 80/04 standard, Japan and America have their own standards, but all are closely aligned to Euro standards.

As a result, the Australian and New Zealand standards feature a provision that Japanese and American trucks may be sold as long as they meet their own Euro-equivalent standards. So, for truck operators in Australia or New Zealand, there is no immediate change. You can still buy truck parts for your vehicle, and you’re not required to upgrade. The changes in standards only affect new truck models being introduced to the local market. Replacement truck parts for fueling and exhaust systems on trucks that have been registered under the Euro 5 or Euro 6 standard will have to maintain compliance with the relevant standard. Aftermarket channels for truck parts are already stocking these components.

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