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Oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter, driving bans: Who wants to go in the future, in an environmental zone, the car has a lot of pain and little choice of purchase. What should customers look for?



Emil Nefzger

David Pierce Brill

Emil Nefzger

Born in 1991, studied history, communication science and journalism in Munich. Training at the German school of journalism. Since January 2018 in the case of MIRROR ONLINE as an editor in the area of mobility.

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Thursday, 01.02.2018
05:23 PM

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Driving bans for diesel cars to threaten, perhaps as early as the spring. Many customers feel left alone: The politics and industry convened diesel summit was pure actionism, which then adopted the measures were half-hearted and have the uncertainty with the customer even stronger. Now petrol engines, which were previously thought to be harmless, threatening, due to their particulate emissions and thus possibly driving bans.

Many clients ask: What kind of car can I buy it at all, without running the risk of having it in half a year on the edge of the environmental zone Parking?

The answer is actually complicated. Who wants to be on the safe side, you should deal with in front of the car a considerably more in depth technical Details than was previously necessary. Here you will find the most important things you should look for:


  • Only with particle filter: most of The petrol engines are direct injection which makes them more economical, but also dirty. They emit ultra-fine soot particles, which are detrimental to human health. Gasoline that emit too many particulates, could be excluded in future from the environmental zones. From September 2018 a newly approved gasoline engines need a particulate filter. More and more manufacturers not equip their diesel now with such a Filter, however, all of the models. Diesel without particle filter emit too much particulate matter and could be affected that is why driving is prohibited, even if they are brand new.
  • Retrofit possibility ask for. In some models, a particulate filter is retrofitted. “Who wants to buy a certain gasoline engine, the should assure that a particulate filter is retrofitted,” advises therefore Gerd Lottsiepen, spokesman of the traffic club Germany (VCD).
  • In tried and tested technology to invest: In some vehicles, especially small cars, it is also without a Filter. Your motors do not have direct injection, particulate emissions, therefore, is much lower. The VCD advises in its environment list, therefore, only for the purchase of petrol engines without direct injection as with the Peugeot 108 Active 68.


  • Only with Euro 6d: Current diesel cars have no fine dust is a problem, but too many oxides of nitrogen. From 2020, the emission standard Euro 6d is for you. Who wants to be in the future with a Diesel in the inner cities should be able to buy a car that complies with this standard already. Models of different manufacturers are already creating the new standard, a current list of the ADAC.
  • The motorization pay attention: Who for sure wants to go, should be very carefully with the engine deal in his future dream car. Indeed, there are already diesel engines from different manufacturers that fall below the legally required limit values for emissions of nitrogen oxides even under. And not only in the laboratory, but also on the road in the so-called PEMS testing with portable measuring devices – i.e., under real driving conditions. This is made possible by a near-engine installation of the SCR(Ad-Blue)-catalyst. Unlike the so-called under-floor SCR systems have been installed mainly, the engine-related systems up to working temperature faster and operate much more effective. Engines with the new technology, among other things, the Mercedes OM 654 E 220d, BMW B47 in the 520d and 2.0 TDI version of the VW EA288 engine in the current Passat. BMW sets the 520d, in addition to the urea injection to a storage catalytic Converter for oxides of nitrogen.

Photo gallery

ADAC Ecotest:
The winners:

The Alternatives

  • Hybrid vehicles: a buyer should also here on the built-in engine. Many Plug-in Hybrids fell in the Ecotest the ADAC by a high fine dust emissions. Their gasoline engines are often only activated in case of strong acceleration, and are not yet at their optimum operating temperature. In this way, they will encounter many particles. At the same time, used engines are often direct injection gasoline engines that emit far more fine dust. The only exception is the Prius, which Toyota relies on a suction pipe injection, as a result, the pollutant emissions are significantly lower.
  • E-cars: Stromer are mainly used for commuting short to medium distances, always interesting. You can drive emission-free. If the used electricity comes from renewable sources, its carbon footprint is also good. Buyers should make sure, whether you also want to buy the battery, sometimes the battery can be rented or leased. As a result, customers can take advantage of the latest battery must, however, pay a monthly Rent.
  • Hydrogen cars: Hyundai Nexo, Toyota Mirai and co. are an environmentally friendly Option and have a higher range than an electric car. Before buying one should check, however, the number of gas stations in the area, the filling station network in many areas is very thin. Also, the model selection is still manageable.
  • Natural gas offers a better-developed network of petrol stations and cheap prices. The supply of natural gas cars is diverse, Fiat, Mercedes, Opel and the Volkswagen group to offer a variety of models also as natural Gas variants, the Audi, for example, the A4. The A4, with natural-gas drive landed in the Ecotest the ADAC on rank six and pushed ahead of the Model X 100D of Tesla. Cars with alternative drives, occupied in the environmental test of the ADAC generally speaking, the front seats: the victory went to The Hyundai Ioniq, Electric in front of the VW eGolf, place an almost ordinary Plug occupied with the Toyota Prius-in Hybrid.

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