The era of Euro 6 arrives in Colombia

The new emission control standard that came into force on January 1, 2023

16 January 2023

Despite the fact that the last standard for the verification and control of emissions in vehicles with internal combustion engines was promulgated 10 years ago, until now it has become the obligatory topic of conversation in the automotive sector, not only in Colombia, but also in Latin America. The climate change agenda is the order of the day, and automobiles are in the eye of the hurricane.

Brands have substantially modified their product portfolio, and the automotive industry, as we knew it, will never be the same. Hybridization and electromobility set the standard in advertising (although the sales numbers are not yet as expected) in terms of family vehicles, while the trend in urban buses and light trucks is for alternative fuels such as Natural Gas and electrification.

However, the costs of these alternatives do not always allow balancing the equation between sustainability and profitability when it comes to long-distance buses and trucks and tonnage. For this reason, Diesel continues to be valid and the entry of the Euro 6 regulation will change many of the mobilization paradigms with fossil fuel vehicles in force to date.


The problem

In recent decades, human activities have generated changes in the planet's weather patterns. One of the factors contributing to the increase in the Earth's average temperature is the burning of fossil fuels, given the chemical substances that are released into the atmosphere during this process. These include water vapor, methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

Although the Earth's climate has never been constant and for millions of years it has had fluctuations depending on multiple factors such as solar radiation, galactic variations, orbital changes and precipitation, the aforementioned gases are the cause of the phenomenon called the greenhouse effect. , which generates a kind of "radiation layer" that emits certain amounts of energy towards the surface that cannot be released and raises the ambient temperature.

The governments of the main countries of the world have raised awareness of the problem, and through multinational agreements, have managed to guide initiatives towards reducing the harmful effects of toxic gas emissions, both in industry and in the mobilization of people.

These councils include the Kyoto Protocol of 2005 (where a 5% reduction in greenhouse gases was agreed), the Doha Amendment that dates from 2012 and increases the reduction level to 18%, a goal that should have been met in 2020. The most recent conclave was held in Paris, in 2015, and ambitious goals were agreed there, including reducing the temperature of the globe to pre-industrial levels (traveling to the 19th century), and the establishment of a society with neutral emissions by 2050, which means that the CO2 generated by human activities must be proportional to the capacity of forests to absorb them.

The Law in Colombia 1972 of 2019

With the creation of this law, the Colombian government contributes to the reduction of the effects of harmful gases, forcing the change of emission control regulations from Euro 4 to Euro 5.

With this, in addition, it seeks to regulate the measures to reduce the emission of pollutants, especially those that come from mobile sources, and will enter into force as of January 1, 2023, for any vehicle that is manufactured, assembled, imported or nationalized. In Colombia.

Vehicles that currently travel through the national territory must comply with Euro VI technology or higher than of January 1, 2035.

One of the primary factors, and one that generates the most doubts, is the type of fuel necessary to be able to comply with the standard. Ecopetrol has committed to delivering ultra-low sulfur refined diesel (10-15 PPM) to the pumps in the most important cities (also from January 2023). In addition, from December 2025, it will produce ACPM of 10 PPM.


Stricter control

In a past edition, we talked about the way in which some transporters were avoiding the use of urea to make a supposed "cost reduction", through electronic devices that alter the controllers of the SCR system. This, based on the fact that the current emissions tests are static and only measure the opacity of the exhaust gases.

For this reason, together with the 1972 law, the Ministry of Transportation has issued resolution 0762, which determines the maximum limits to the emissions of polluting gases by mobile sources, and the control methodology.

Now, each vehicle must go on the market accompanied by a Dynamic Test Emissions Certificate (CEPD). This is a document in which the results of the measurement of air pollutants are recorded, evaluated by vehicle weight, including evaporative emissions, in accordance with the methods, cycles or procedures established in current regulations, from the selected prototype vehicles. As representative of the new models that are imported, manufactured or assembled in the country.

Each manufacturer will be responsible for requesting the CEPD management from the competent authorities, and delivering it to the customer when buying their new vehicle. From now on, the control entities will be authorized to carry out new tests on the vehicles, either as a complement to the Technomechanical Review, or randomly in control operations.

Can you verify a stopped vehicle?

In accordance with the provisions of resolution 0762, the environmental authorities may carry out at any time an operation to review pollutant emissions from road mobile land sources, fleets belonging to public transport systems, passengers, mass transport and cargo transport, within the facilities of the collection sites for said vehicles.

In case of evidence of non-compliance with the levels established in the resolution, the preventive and sanctioning measures that may apply will be imposed, in accordance with the provisions of Law 1333 of 2009 or the regulation that modifies, adds or replaces it.

Be careful with poor quality urea

Now that all Diesel buses and trucks must use the reducer additive, better known as Arla 32, AdBlue or DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid), we emphasize purchasing it from trusted sites and recognized brands, since the use of counterfeit products can severely damage the engine's advanced anti-smog systems.

Automotive urea is specifically formulated to be used by the SCR system. Using agricultural urea dissolved in water generates corrosion of the distribution ducts, and in the end, it will not allow the levels of contamination reduction established in the standard to be reached, damaging the environment, and leaving the owner at the mercy of a costly sanction, in case if the failure is detected in a control operation. In summary, the consumption of additives will never be greater than 7% of the fuel consumption of the unit.