Emissions targets are creeping up on us, and the announcement of new ultra-low emissions plans is causing a stir. Here’s your super-quick guide to Euro 6, Euro VI and just what you need to know to keep your business running smoothly.
What is Euro 6/Euro VI?
Euro 6 and Euro VI are regulations designed by the European Parliament regarding vehicular emissions. ‘Euro 6’ refers to passenger car or light commercial vehicle regulations, and ‘Euro VI’ refers to HGVs and other large goods vehicles. This article focuses on ‘Euro VI’, which is more relevant to the logistics industry.
Why do we need ‘Euro’ standards?
The standards aren’t a new concept and Euro V – our current target – has been in force since 2008. The first set of standards was Euro 0 which was introduced in 1988, with Euro I launched in 1992, Euro II in 1995 etc. Each set of Euro standards has introduced a new, lower set of emissions targets, superseding the last.
Euro VI itself is split into a number of different sections, but for the most part ‘we’ (businesses) can ignore them, as they refer to the method of measurement which is used to record data and not an update on emissions levels themselves. The regulations are aimed at manufacturers, which may be why you haven’t heard of them before.
How will it affect me?
The Euro VI guidelines are more likely to directly effect manufacturers more than the end user of a vehicle. However, there may be a couple of business changes necessary for us in logistics.
You can certainly expect to see more ultra-low emissions zones (ULEZ) in the coming future, particularly with Europe’s 2020 emissions targets. London’s ULEZ goes live on 8th April this year as Transport for London look to significantly reduce congestion and pollution in the capital. Any non-compliant vehicles in the region will be subject to a £100 daily charge, or even a penalty charge of £1000. These are in addition to any Congestion or Low Emission Zone (LEZ) charges.
How does it benefit me?
Fuel makes up to a third of hauliers’ costs. With this in mind, despite the short-term investment in new technologies and transport, there should be a long-term reduction in running costs for your business.
What do I need to do?
Firstly, check if your vehicle is compliant. You can do this on the Transport for London website via the Check Your Vehicle page. If your vehicle qualifies, it will be business as usual with no additional work needed – no additional charges, either. Most engines registered with the DVLA post-2014 will be compliant, however it’s worth making sure.
If you don’t match the standards required to travel in inner-city London’s ULEZ, it may be possible to adapt your current fleet at some point. Retrofit emissions reduction technologies are available which will mean vehicles will adhere to the new standards. Any modifications like this need to be certified by the government’s Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS), however these are only currently available for buses – not other heavy-duty vehicles. It looks likely that if you’re looking to travel within inner-city London before any additional retrofit schemes are announced, you’ll either have to pay the daily charge or upgrade your fleet.
I can’t afford this! Is there help available?
The Mayor of London’s office has announced a scrappage scheme for small businesses. They have allotted £23 million in funding for microbusinesses – those with 10 employees or less – to scrap their non-compliant vehicles and switch to new ones. The new vehicles would be the cleanest available and include full-electric.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also called for MPs to match the funding with government money, which could see the scheme expanded to larger SMEs or those on lower incomes. The scheme should be rolled out before the April deadline, so keep an eye on the news for further announcements.