Formed in 1991, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association—commonly referred to as ACEA—represents the 16 major European automobile manufacturers with a common purpose of driving Europe’s mobility transformation and ensuring that the automotive industry in Europe remains a strong global player.
A core part of ACEA’s work is developing and setting performance standards that meet the needs of the European market, including emissions regulations. The ACEA European Oil standards—referred to as sequences—were first developed and published in 1996. Since then, they have been updated regularly, with new ACEA oil sequences issued periodically. The last heavy-duty engine oil sequences were published in 2016.
Every ACEA sequence is made up of a letter or letters that indicate the class—ACEA ‘E’ represents the heavy-duty class—and a number that defines the category, such as the 9 in ACEA E9. There are ACEA sequences for passenger car motor oils—or light-duty engine oil sequences—represented by ACEA A/B, and for catalyst-compatible motor oils represented by the C class.
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The classes are divided into categories to meet the requirements of different engines. For example, in the heavy-duty engine oil sequences, ACEA E4 is suitable for engines meeting Euro I, Euro II, Euro III, Euro IV and Euro V emission requirements, compared with ACEA E8, which meets Euro VI emission standards. Euro VI reduced the limit for NOx to around 0.46g/kwh from 2.0g/kwh in Euro V.