Policy update

Proposed Emissions Standards for Two- and Three-Wheeled Vehicles in Europe

The European Commission has proposed new emissions standards for two- and three-wheeled powered vehicles and quadricycles, collectively termed L-category vehicles, as part of a broader regulation that would also cover safety and market surveillance.

From an air-quality perspective the primary objective is to keep constant or reduce the share of total road-transport emissions from L-category vehicles as compared to other road vehicle categories. The proposed regulation would amend several aspects of the type-approval framework currently in place. Specifically, it would:

  • Revise and expand the vehicle categories and types covered to match the range of vehicles currently offered on the market. For example, the proposal explicitly covers hybrid vehicles. (See annex 1 for a summary table of the proposed categories.)
  • Separately defines emissions limit steps for motorcycles (Euro 4, 5, and 6 ) and all other L-category vehicle types (Euro 3, 4, 5). The Euro 6 limits for motorcycles and Euro 5 limits for all other categories would match the nominal values of passenger-car Euro 5 limits. The standards for motorcycles, passenger tricycles, and heavy on-road quadricycles would be based on the World Motorcycle Test Cycle (WMTC), used as an alternative cycle under current emissions regulations.
  • Introduce durability requirements and deterioration factors for all vehicle types and emission levels.
  • Require on-board diagnostic (OBD) technologies for new L-category vehicles, following an implementation schedule that would depend in part on the results of an impact assessment planned for 2016.
  • Require reporting of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as part of the type approval process.

The proposal will go to the European Parliament and the European Council for approval in early 2011. If approved the regulation would go into effect by 1 January 2013.