Message from the Secretary General – September 2015

This month sees the roll-out of Euro 6. Since the early ‘90s, the EU has been regulating vehicle emissions through a series of increasingly strict Euro standards. New car models already had to comply with Euro 6 since last year, but as of this month the latest and most stringent standard now also applies to all new cars sold, making them the cleanest ever produced.

The European automotive industry is a world leader in clean diesel technology, exporting almost 1.8 million diesel vehicles every year. The automobile and parts sector’s continued investment in R&D – amounting to €41.5 billion annually, making us the EU’s number one investor in innovation – has resulted in a new generation of diesel vehicles. Since 2000, nitrogen oxides (NOx) limits for diesel cars have been reduced by 84% and particulates by 90%. Moreover, cars powered by a diesel engine produce 15% less CO2 per kilometre than similar vehicles running on petrol. Diesel helps us to further reduce CO2 emissions from road transport and mitigate climate change, a priority for all policy makers in Europe.

Europe’s car manufacturers are committed to ensure that clean diesel technology will continue to play its vital role in the transport of people and goods across Europe for decades to come. To mark the launch of Euro 6, the automotive and motor trading industries have jointly launched the website, accompanied by the #CleanDieselTech social media campaign. With this initiative we want to inform the general public, as well as policy makers, about the latest generation of diesel technology with simple and accessible facts, figures and infographics.

The online campaign follows an open letter we sent to EU policy makers in July, together with representatives of the European automotive and petroleum refining industry. In this letter we reaffirmed our pledge to finding ever better ways of combining the benefits of diesel – in terms of fuel economy and low CO2 – with further emissions reductions. Moreover, we called on policy makers to support the uptake of the latest low-emission vehicles through technology-neutral measures, for example by accelerating fleet renewal.

This is also why ACEA contributes constructively to completing the Real Driving Emissions regulation in order to address the key priority of member states in this regard, diesel cars. ACEA believes that more complete Commission proposals should be introduced, providing clarity on the implementation timings so that manufacturers can plan accordingly. Only with a supportive and predictable EU framework in place, can Europe’s automotive industry ensure that modern diesel remains one of the important low-CO2 technologies that help us deliver clean and affordable transport.

I invite you to visit the website or join the debate on clean diesel technology using #CleanDieselTech on Twitter!

Erik Jonnaert