Cleaner than legal? Mercedes and Jaguar diesels are Euro 6d compliant
Even though electrification is central in Daimler’s and JLR’s PR discourse, both OEMs have invested considerably in diesel and believe it has a place now that NOx emissions are under control. To make their point, both premium OEMs already offer diesel models today that comply with the emission standard of 2020.
The Mercedes A 200 d, A 220 d, B 200 d, B 220 d, GLE 350 d and GLE 400 d have a Euro 6d type approval, and so have the revamped Jaguar XE and XF 2.0D 180 (pictured). This may give them little competitive advantage today - apart from in the UK , where they are exempt from the new diesel VED supplement - but it could mean a world of difference tomorrow.
Euro 6d is not Euro 6d-temp
In September 2018 the Euro 6 standard adopted the suffix ‘d-temp’ – indeed, an intermediate step towards the “real” Euro 6d standard, which will take effect in 2020 for new type approvals and a year later for all new vehicles. Euro 6d-temp allows a conformity factor of 2.1 for the NOx emissions measured during the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test. In other words: less than 168 mg/km is a pass, more is a fail.
As soon as Euro 6d is introduced, the conformity factor decreases to 1.5, which equals 120 mg/km. The new models from Mercedes and Jaguar manage to stay below this limit and therefore already comply with the next standard.
Today, legislators make no difference between Euro 6b and 6d-temp, neither for taxes nor for admission restrictions. That will probably change in the future, though. In the UK, company car tax already takes into account the 6d standard; if your car complies, it is exempt from the new diesel VED supplement.
Conformity factor under discussion
There is some controversy around the 2.1 conformity factor, that cuts OEMs some slack to adjust to the new RDE type approval procedure. It came into being in 2016, when the European Commission voted an amendment to the Euro 6 standard allowing NOx emissions measured during the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test to deviate 110% from the 80 mg/km lab limit.
In December 2018, the General Court of the European Union ruled the Commission had no such power and as technologically difficult it may be for carmakers to meet the 80 mg/km limit in real-life conditions, that does not justify the leniency. The Commission has now appealed the court decision. If anything, it does not help customers to regain faith in diesel.
In Germany, diesel sales were up 2.1% in January, nonetheless.