James Hayes takes a look at the implications of Europe’s new emission rules on the testing of current and future vehicles.
Recently the European Commission announced a 100% reduction of CO2 tailpipe emissions from new cars by 2035. This was shortly followed by a new proposal for vehicle emissions legislation, the Euro 7. The new Euro 7 is aimed to ensure cleaner vehicles on the roads, and improved air quality, and the legislation is scheduled to be in force for light-duty vehicles from July 2025.
Euro 7 Explained
The Euro 7 rules, which are applicable both to light-duty as well as heavy-duty vehicles, are technology- and fuel-neutral. This means that the same emission limits apply to all vehicles within the same category, regardless of the technology (for example, conventional internal combustion engine, hybrid or plug-in) or the fuel used (gasoline, diesel or others). They also apply to zero CO2 emission vehicles (electric or fuel cell vehicles).
For light-duty vehicles (cars and vans), the Euro 7 is built upon the current Euro 6 but with broadened driving and environmental boundary conditions to ensure emissions stay low in a broader range of conditions experienced by vehicles across EU. The proposal also aims to simplify the rules with less complexity and removal of testing procedures that are no longer needed.
Stricter emissions requirements and broader application means emissions control systems have to be optimized for almost any driving style or traffic situation. This, in turn, puts greater pressure on the development, and with only three years until implementation, improvements cannot wait.
Rototest, a manufacturer of test systems for complete vehicles and powertrains, has been working in the vehicle development field for more than three decades with a focus on cost-effective and efficient solutions for OEMs and Tier1s. The current legislation, Euro 6 includes several laboratory procedures where the vehicle is driven according to a specified driving cycle, and exhaust emissions are measured. Although the Euro 7 focuses more on expanding the on-road testing for type approval, laboratory testing will be a substantial part and increasingly so for the manufacturers development work in order to achieve required limits.
The rules of Euro 6 states that the dynamometer type used in laboratory tests shall be of roller-type (possibly by tradition, as roller dynamometers have been around for more than a hundred years). Rototest, being a manufacturer of alternative hub-dynamometer technology with present focus on high-dynamic and Vehicle-in-the-Loop applications, has a technology that is applicable also to emission testing. Together with the European Commission Joint Research Centre, JRC, Rototest has conducted an equivalence study between roller-type and hub-type dynamometers.
The study, published as two white papers, concludes that hub-type dynamometer with the appropriate technical capabilities can be used interchangeably with an emission grade roller-type dynamometer and provided the same results.
Rototest’s dynamometer is capable of handling high-dynamic manoeuvres, steering and advanced simulation environments, as well as be used for legislative testing, just as Euro 7 aims to greatly simplify the selection of test systems for today’s and tomorrow’s vehicles.