Clean diesel is a new generation of diesel made up of a three-part system

Advanced engines

Highly efficient diesel engines

Cleaner diesel fuel

Ultra-low sulfur diesel

Effective emissions controls

Advanced emissions control

This new system ensures that advanced diesel engines will continue to play an important role in the transport of people and goods in the future, while helping meet greenhouse gas and clean air objectives in the EU and around the world.


20-25% less fuel

consumed than equivalent petrol cars

15% less CO₂

emissions/km than equivalent petrol-powered vehicles. Diesel vehicles contribute to reducing CO₂ emissions from road transport and therefore to mitigating climate change

2021 targets

While petrol and diesel engines will continue to improve efficiency, diesel will continue to be important in meeting EU’s 2021 CO₂ fleet average targets and beyond

Heavy duty

Diesel engines are suited for use in heavier commercial or long-haul commercial vehicles, which is why they will remain difficult to replace for trucks and vans

Higher power

Diesel improves load-carrying and towing and enables safe overtaking

Longer range

Diesel's high fuel economy ensures a longer range between refuelling stops

Purchasing incentives

Customers favour diesel cars because authorities have increasingly incentivised the use of low-CO₂ via the tax regime

Lower fuel costs

Diesel fuel is often cheaper due to lower national taxation


Clean diesel complies with the latest EU emissions 

legislation – Euro 6 – which is amongst the strictest in the world

As of 1 September 2015, all new cars sold meet Euro 6 standards

Real-world emissions testing of cars will be required for the first time

New trucks and buses already deliver real-world emissions reductions

EU Diesel Car Limits

EU Heavy Duty Truck and Bus Limits

Technical innovation has helped progressively to lower vehicle emissions – over the last 15 years, nitrogen oxides (NOx) limits for diesel car engines have been reduced by 84%, and particulates (PM) by 90%


European vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers lead the world in the development of state-of-the-art diesel engine technology

Modern road vehicles with diesel engines use highly efficient filters that remove over 99.9% of the number of particles, including ultrafines

Improvements to engine technologies such as variable valve timing, direct fuel injection and electronic engine management systems have also played a major role in the three-part system approach

The industry has been working to develop technologies which can specifically address air quality in urban environments, such as stop-start technology and NOx emission control technologies


to support clean diesel

Fleet renewal

Industry continues its request to policy makers to help speed up fleet renewal to enable the introduction of the cleanest vehicles. This is particularly important as new vehicles represent only a small fraction of the total current car fleet

Technological choice

Policy should be technology-neutral and results-oriented to ensure the uptake of the latest low-emission vehicles, which should be affordable to the consumer at large. Options also exist for retrofitting heavy-duty vehicles

Strong partnerships

With policy makers' support, the industry will continue to work together to ensure clean diesel remains one of the key pillars in the portfolio of low CO₂ technologies for delivering clean, economical and affordable transport for future generations


For more information on clean diesel technologies, contact us

European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA)

Avenue des Nerviens 85

1040 Brussels, Belgium

[email protected]



Association for Emissions Control by Catalyst (AECC)

Diamant Building

Boulevard Auguste Reyers 80

1030 Brussels, Belgium

[email protected]


European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs (CECRA)

Boulevard de la Woluwe 46, 9

1200 Brussels, Belgium

[email protected]


European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA)

Boulevard Brand Whitlock 87/B1

1200 Brussels, Belgium

[email protected]