Legislation for Sustainable Mobility
The European Union regulates emissions limits, application timings and testing procedures for most mobile-source applications using internal combustion engines equipped powertrains. European emission legislation exists for the following types of engines and vehicles.
AECC and the development of legislation
Formal proposals for European legislation – Directives or Regulations – are submitted by the European Commission (EC) to the European Parliament and to the European Council; the latter consists of Ministers of the EU Member States. Before a formal proposal is submitted, the Commission consults widely with all the relevant stakeholders, including Member States, NGOs, the motor industry and its suppliers including AECC.
As part of this process, EC working groups help develop these regulations by providing and analysing test data, reviewing the feasibility of proposals and by examining the detailed technical content of draft legislative texts. The main groups concerned on pollutant emissions are the Advisory Group on Vehicle Emission Standards (AGVES) and the Motor Vehicles Emissions Group (MVEG), but there are also expert groups on real-driving emissions, CO2 emissions standards, motorcycles, and non-road mobile machinery for instance, which allow the Commission to consult on specific areas of legislative development. AECC is a participating member of AGVES, MVEG and other relevant expert groups and provides test data to assist in the formulation of appropriate legislation.
Once a formal proposal has been submitted to the EU Parliament and Council, the ordinary legislative procedure starts. Both institutions review the content of the proposals and can accept, reject or propose changes (amendments). The main characteristic of this procedure is that the adoption of legislation is made jointly and on an equal footing by Parliament and the Council. In the case of Parliament, a lead committee – usually the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee – examines the details of the proposal and makes recommendations to plenary sessions of Parliament. In the case of Council, the Member States’ experts review the contents. As in the other stages, AECC provides data and information as required by the participants in this process.
In the case of regulations, EU Member States do not have to transpose European legislation into their national law since implementing measures are addressed through delegated and implementing acts. Directives, on the other hand, do need to be transposed in national law which sometimes leads to interpretation issues between Member States.
UNITED NATIONS LEGISLATION
AECC also participates in a consultative capacity in groups which help develop United Nations Regulations on emissions that are applied in many other countries. The United Nations’ World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29), convenes officially three times per year in Geneva. It oversees the development of UN Regulations, often based on EU legislation, and of world-harmonised ‘Global Technical Regulations’ (GTR). Regulatory proposals on pollution and energy efficiency are developed by the Working Party on Pollution and Energy (GRPE) and its sub-groups, the so-called informal working groups. GRPE convenes officially twice a year.
UN Regulations provide a means by which non-EU countries can readily adopt regulations equivalent to those in the EU and mutually recognised by Contracting Parties under the 18598 Agreement. GTRs are a more recent development under the 1998 Agreement and aim to provide globally harmonised test procedures.
Currently most light- and heavy-duty vehicle emissions regulations are quite different in three of the main vehicle markets – the EU, the USA and Japan – and most other countries use one or more of these as the basis for their national legislation.. The regulations for the three regions differ not only in the limit values, but also in the test procedures and driving cycles that are required. Nevertheless, emission legislation for non-road mobile machinery tends to be more harmonised between the EU, USA, and Japan. It is also important to mention that the biggest automotive market today, China, is also introducing stringent emissions regulations and becoming more active in these forums.
GTRs aim to provide harmonised testing procedures, and eventually these GTRs may progress to harmonised limit values as a second stage. The first emissions-related GTR, commonly known as the World Motorcycle Test Cycle (WMTC) but officially GTR No. 2, was adopted in 2005. GTR No. 4 on Worldwide Heavy-Duty Certification procedure (WHDC) was adopted in 2007. GTR No. 11 on engine emissions from agricultural and forestry tractors and from non-road mobile machinery was adopted in 2010. And GTR No. 15 on the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) was adopted in 2014. Currently the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) Informal Working Group (IWG) is working on a new GTR for a global RDE procedure.
The GRPE work also covers developing improvements to test procedures. AECC’s involvement has included providing the reference vehicle for international testing of an improved procedure for measurement of particulate mass and a new procedure to measure the number of ultrafine particulates emitted from vehicle exhaust (the Particle Measurement Programme, PMP), which is included in the Euro 5 and 6 standards for passenger cars and in the heavy-duty Euro VI Regulation. AECC held the secretariat of the GRPE informal working group on retrofit emission control devices (REC) for heavy-duty and non-road applications. AECC contributed with data from its testing programmes to the database for the RDE IWG which will help to continue developing the RDE GTR.