Euro 7 proposal: A significant step towards higher ambition, but technical challenges a concern
The European Commission published its proposal for new vehicle pollutant emission standards. The Euro 7 proposal, which covers light- and heavy-duty vehicles, aims to improve EU air quality and public health by continuing to lower pollutant emissions coming from road transport.
Overall, the proposal makes a significant step towards higher ambition. However, there are key elements of timing and both technical and economic feasibility that need to be addressed to ensure the new rules can be implemented and also apply to realistic driving situations.
Benjamin Krieger, CLEPA Secretary General, says: “A balanced Euro 7 will encourage innovation and improve air quality, benefiting the environment, consumers, and industry. But it needs to remain realistic as to what is technically achievable with current and near-future technologies.”
He goes on to say, “If the advanced internal combustion engine has a role to play in future mobility, its environmental impact has to be further improved. This, alongside controlling emissions from other sources, such as brakes and tyres, which aren’t related to the drive train.”
CLEPA stresses the importance of the lead time needed by industry to develop and validate the new Euro 7 technologies, and also in consideration of the time required for the co-decision legislative process. The specific technical parameters for vehicle testing are key factors influencing the overall severity of the new regulation; these parameters are not yet known and will come via several implementing and delegated acts, which should be completed as soon as possible to enable a swift implementation of Euro 7. A lead-time of at least 24 months after the finalisation of the secondary legislation is necessary for light-duty vehicles. For heavy-duty vehicles, 36 months are needed.
Further, in light of the upcoming CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles slated for beginning of 2023, CLEPA calls for a coherent legislative framework in this regard.
A smooth progress of the complete decision-making process, resulting lead-time and final content, including implementing and delegated acts, remain critical to a successful implementation.
Automotive suppliers stand ready to contribute and actively engage with policymakers to achieve a successful implementation of Euro 7 and other climate policies, balancing environmental, social and economic goals.