The EN 590 had been introduced along with the European emission standards. With each of its revisions the EN 590 had been adapted to lower the sulphur content of diesel fuel - since 2007 this is called ultra low sulphur diesel as the former function of sulphur as a lubricant is absent (and needs to be replaced by additives).
1. January 1993
1. January 1996
1. January 2001
1. January 2006
1. January 2009
1. January 2014
Generally applicable requirements and test methods
The standard EN 590 puts diesel fuel into two groups destined for specific climatic environments. For the "temperate" climatic zones the standard defines six classes from A to F. For the "arctic" climatic zones the standard defines five classes from 0 to 4.
Many countries in Europe require diesel fuel to meet a specific class in winter times. In Central and Western Europe the Winter Diesel (Winterdiesel, diesel d'hiver) must meet Class F conditions at least from the beginning of December to the end of February. During a transitional period (mostly October and April) a lower Class must be met. In the Scandinavian countries the Winter Diesel (Vinterdiesel) must meet Class 2 conditions. Some mineral groups offer both types commonly known as Winter Diesel (Winterdiesel, diesel d'hiver) and Arctic Diesel (Polardiesel, diesel polaires).