What is it
The European Commission has been regulating the amount of emissions that vehicles release into the air. When the emission standards started in the 1990s, buses and large trucks were the points of focus, but that has shifted to other vehicles such as vans. Some of the toxic emissions identified include oxides of Nitrogen (NOx, Hydrocarbons, Carbon Monoxide, and Particulate Matter, which refers to soot particulates. The hazardous nature of these compounds makes it necessary to control them, and that is why there have been different laws to facilitate that. The Euro 6 regulations aim to reduce NOx and particulate matter to levels lower than those in Euro 5 standards.
Use of AdBlue
The Euro 6 regulations have been rolling out in different phases, and this latest one looks to decrease NOx emissions by 55%. Most vehicle manufacturers are opting to use the Selective Catalytic Process to achieve that. What happens is that vehicles will have diesel exhaust fluid, AdBlue that works to break down NOx into carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water. AdBlue acts as a reductant in different types of vehicles and is available at about £15 for 10 L.
Effects of Using AdBlue
One of the effects that van operators will feel is the cost of getting the fluid. The consumption of the reductant varies on a wide scale between different vehicles. The more a vehicle consumes, the higher the costs. Vans of a smaller size such as the Volkswagen Caddy and Ford Transit Connect can get about 700 miles for every litre of AdBlue. Larger-sized vans like the Mercedes Sprinter may prove more costly with and an average of 250 miles per litre of the fluid. If a business is using vans for long distance transportation then meeting the Euro 6 laws may cost a significant amount.
Another impact of the regulation is in the payload of vehicles. The SCR technology requires the installation of a tank into a van. The capacity can be between 15 and 20 litres. It means that the payload of a vehicle will reduce to accommodate the tank. It is estimated that the reduction may be between 30kg-80kg.
Any van operator that has to do business in London will have to comply with Euro 6 standards, so that excludes the option of using a Euro 5 van as a means to save money. Consumers will have to bear the manufacturing costs brunt of Euro 6 compliant vehicles, meaning dealing with increased purchase prices. However, note that Euro 6 vans will provide improved fuel efficiency depending on the handling.