“Euro 7” standard: EU Council positions itself on new and old emission limits
On Monday in Brussels, the EU Council voted on the future “Euro 7” emissions standard and spoke out against stricter limits for cars and delivery vehicles. The regulation for the type approval of motor vehicles and engines covers their emissions and – in the case of electric cars – the battery life. For the first time, the new regulation applies equally to cars, vans and heavy commercial vehicles.
Watered down proposal
The ministers watered down the European Commission’s proposal. Italy, France, the Czech Republic and five other countries voted against stricter rules because they would deprive the auto industry of too many of the resources it needs to develop electric cars. The Italian Minister of Industry Adolfo Urso welcomed the weakening with the words: “The new regulation protects, at Italy’s request (…) small series manufacturers with the ‘premium’ product range typical of Italian production, such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, symbols of ‘Made in Italy’ with an annual production of around 50,000 cars.”
The EU Council writes that it did not want to make the requirements for vehicle emissions too strict because the European car industry is converting to the production of electric cars. There is talk of a “balance”.
The proposals to introduce stricter limits and an exception to e-fuels, which Germany had put forward, were overruled. In order to allow a vote on e-fuels, Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) held up the legislative process in order to allow the proposal to be introduced at the last minute. Ultimately, this effort was of no use.
The existing emission limits and test conditions for light commercial vehicles in classes M and N 1 (private cars and vans) have not been tightened – they therefore remain at the level of the last level of Euro 6. State Secretary Sven Giegold from the German Greens called this “not very “ambitious”.
Compared to Euro 6/VI, however, the emission limits and test conditions for vehicle classes M2 and M3 (buses and coaches) and N2 and N3 (heavy commercial vehicles) have been slightly tightened. A special regulation takes city buses into account because of the newly proposed zero emissions target for these vehicles by 2030.
Limit values for tire and brake wear
Limit values for particle emissions from brakes and tires as well as a minimum service life for the traction battery of electric cars will be introduced. This means that electric and hydrogen cars will also be subject to emissions regulation for the first time. The regulation also provides for the use of sophisticated measuring instruments for more precise emission monitoring.
The position agreed by the EU Council today formalizes its negotiating position. It gives the Council Presidency a mandate to negotiate with the European Parliament, starting as soon as the Parliament has adopted its position. The final version of the emissions standard will then be negotiated between the EU Parliament and the EU states. It is scheduled to come into force in 2025.
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