European Commission proposes Euro 7 standards

The European Commission has presented its proposal for Euro 7 standards to reduce air pollution from new motor vehicles sold in the EU. While the CO2 emission rules will drive the roll-out of zero-emission vehicles, it is important to ensure that all vehicles on European roads are much cleaner, the EC said.

In 2035, all cars and vans sold in the EU must have zero CO2 emissions. However, in 2050, more than 20% of cars and vans and more than half of heavier vehicles are expected to continue emitting pollutants through the tailpipe. Battery electric vehicles also continue to pollute brakes and tire microplastics. The Euro 7 rules will reduce all these emissions and keep vehicles affordable for consumers, the EC said.

The Euro 7 proposal replaces and simplifies the previously separate emission rules for cars and vans (Euro 6) and trucks and buses (Euro VI). The Euro 7 standards rules place the emission limits for all motor vehicles i.e. cars, vans, buses and trucks under a single set of rules. The new rules are fuel and technology neutral, imposing the same limits whether the vehicle uses petrol, diesel, electric drivetrains or alternative fuels. They will help to:

  • Better control air pollutant emissions from all new vehicles: expanding the range of driving conditions covered by on-road emissions testing. These will now better reflect the range of conditions vehicles may encounter across Europe, including temperatures of up to 45°C or short journeys typical of daily commuting.

  • Update and tighten pollutant emission limits: limits will be tightened for trucks and buses, while the lowest existing limits for cars and vans will now apply regardless of the fuel used by the vehicle. The new rules also set emission limits for previously unregulated pollutants, such as nitrous oxide emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.

  • Regulate brake and tire emissions: the Euro 7 standards rules will be the first global emission standards to go beyond tailpipe emissions regulations and set additional limits for particulate emissions from brakes and exhaust emission rules microplastics from tires. These rules will apply to all vehicles, including electric vehicles.

  • Make sure new cars stay clean longer: all vehicles will have to comply with the rules for a longer period than hitherto. Cars and vans will be checked for compliance until these vehicles reach 200,000 kilometers and 10 years. This doubles the existing durability requirements under Euro 6/VI rules (100,000 kilometers and 5 years). Similar increases will take place for buses and trucks.

  • Supporting the deployment of electric vehicles: the new rules will regulate the durability of batteries installed in cars and vans to increase consumer confidence in electric vehicles. It will also reduce the need to replace batteries early in a vehicle’s life, reducing the need for critical new raw materials needed for battery production.

  • Take full advantage of digital possibilities: The Euro 7 rules will ensure that vehicles are not tampered with and that emissions can be checked by authorities in a simple way using sensors inside the vehicle to measure emissions throughout the life of a vehicle. vehicle.

The Commission proposal will be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council for adoption by the co-legislators.

In 2035, Euro 7 will lower the total NOX emissions from cars and vans by 35% compared to Euro 6, and by 56% compared to Euro VI from buses and trucks. At the same time, particles from the tailpipe will be reduced by 13% for cars and vans, and 39% for buses and trucks, while particles from a car’s brakes will be reduced by 27%.

Following the Dieselgate scandal, the Commission introduced new tests to measure emissions on the road (the RDE method) and reinforced the market surveillance powers of the Member States and the Commission, in order to ensure that vehicles are as clean as expected by Euro 6 standards.

European environmental NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) called the Euro 7 proposal “shockingly weak” and said it was now essential for the European Parliament to either tighten these standards or simply reject them.

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