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Addressing Non-CO2 Emissions

We take the impacts on air quality and the related health risks from vehicle tailpipe emissions very seriously, and are working hard to address emissions beyond CO2 in our research, product development and operations.

Smog-forming vehicle tailpipe emissions result from the incomplete combustion of fuels, impurities in fuels and the high-temperature oxidation of atmospheric nitrogen during the fuel combustion process. Regulated smog-forming tailpipe emissions include hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide and particulate matter. We recognize that these pollutants increase with vehicle congestion.

Meeting Regional Tailpipe Emissions Standards

 United States

Currently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires vehicles to be certified to its Tier 2 regulations, which have helped reduce smog-forming emissions since 2004. The EPA’s more stringent Tier 3 standards are being phased in from the 2017 model year. California has its own Low Emission Vehicle II (LEV II) program for light-duty vehicles, with different requirements from the federal Tier 2 program; LEV III requirements, which began to be implemented with the 2015 model year, closely align with the EPA’s Tier 3 program. We plan to comply with both Tier 3 and LEV III standards as they are phased in.


All new passenger cars registered since September 1, 2015 comply with the Euro 6 tailpipe emissions standard Phase I. The more stringent Euro 6d Real Driving Emissions (RDE) standard will apply from September 2017. For our light-duty segment, the Transit Connect and Transit Courier already comply with Euro 6 Phase II.

In recent years, concerns in Europe that real-world emissions are higher than tested emissions led to the development of the RDE protocol, which will involve testing vehicles on the road using portable emissions analyzers. In 2015, these concerns were reinforced by reports that a competitor OEM deliberately utilized different calibrations for test conditions and for on-road use, defeating the purpose of the emission tests.

Ford supports efforts to ensure that test procedures more closely match the real-world conditions that customers experience under normal driving. Ford has supported the inclusion of the RDE initiative in the Euro 6 standards, and we have also been involved in the development of the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). These efforts will help to ensure that improvements in vehicle emission control systems will translate to improvements in urban air quality.

Ford will measure and publish RDE results, including NOx emissions, according to Euro 6.2 emission regulation from 2016 onward. Ford complies with regulatory requirements worldwide, and we have processes and controls in place to ensure that compliance is ongoing.


The China Ministry of Environmental Protection released the national stage-6 emission standard for light-duty vehicles in December 2016. The standard is based on the Euro 6 framework, adopting the WLTP for tailpipe emission tests, US EPA Tier 2 fuel evaporation and onboard refueling vapor recovery (EVAP/ORVR) requirements, and California onboard diagnostics requirements (OBD II). Tailpipe emission limits are set as follows:

  • 6a, which equates to Euro 6 limits, will come into effect in July 2020
  • 6b, which is approximately 40–50 percent lower than 6a (depending on pollutants), will come into effect from July 2023

 Other Regions

In other regions, Ford meets the required tailpipe emissions regulations. These are generally based on the European non-CO2 tailpipe emissions regulations system, but vary by country. For example:

  • In India, we meet the current regulations, based on Euro 4 and Euro 5 standards, and will meet Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) standards from April 2020 based on Euro 6
  • In Brazil and Argentina, we meet new regulations based on Euro 5
  • In the Middle East, where emission limits are largely constrained by fuel quality, we meet the current standards based on Euro 2, and 2018MY vehicles will meet standards based on Euro 4 gasoline (Euro 3 diesel)

  See our tailpipe emissions data in detail

Beyond the Tailpipe

With the decreasing trend in vehicle tailpipe emissions, other emissions assume a larger proportional importance.

Through our Restricted Substance Management Standard, we have:

  • Prohibited GHGs such as perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
  • Replaced all chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) refrigerants with hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which do not contribute to ozone depletion and have significantly lower global warming impacts

Globally, we continue to lower non-CO2 GHG emissions. We have replaced HFC-134a with HFC-1234yf, a compound with a lower global warming potential, in passenger cars registered starting in 2017 in Europe; in the 2017MY Escape, Fusion, MKZ, F-150 (except Phantom), GT and Focus in the United States and Canada; and in the 2017MY Focus, Kuga, Mondeo and MKZ in South Korea.

The lack of servicing infrastructure and substantially higher costs limit the use of HFC-1234yf in other markets, but we remain committed to further reducing non-CO2 emissions wherever practical and cost-effective.

We are exploring current and likely future particulate matter emissions associated with brake and tire wear and from different vehicle powertrain technologies, comparing these with current and future tailpipe emissions. We will discuss our findings in a future report.