Following the announcement that the European Council and Parliament have reached a provisional agreement on Euro 7 regulations, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has described the decision as a major milestone.
ACEA Director General, Sigrid de Vries, said: “Although we will only understand the full details once we can assess the entire document, we note that the inter-institutional negotiators have principally opted to prioritise future-oriented challenges, such as light-duty vehicle brake emissions and electric vehicle battery requirements. Exhaust emission limits and test procedures for heavy-duty vehicles were significantly tightened as well.”
This announcement is a welcome sign of some certainty around future emissions regulations. The outcome of this agreement will help to inform operators on the impending rules that will soon impact their fleets. As the move to net zero continues, guidance like this will form the path towards reducing emissions.
However, releasing vehicles to comply with a new set of regulations will be a huge task for manufacturers resulting in a potentially costly outcome for customers. So far, zero emissions vehicles are far more expensive than their diesel counterparts so if Euro 7 regulates around more efficient engines then this could be a more affordable stop gap in the transition to zero emission fuels.
De Vries continued: “It is important to note that many of the new provisions bring significant technical and investment challenges at a crucial time in the zero-emission mobility transformation. As key elements are still to be decided through secondary legislation, we will continue working to ensure a realistic Euro 7, within the limitations imposed by the primary legislation.
“We should not underestimate the huge progress made by European vehicle manufacturers in reducing pollutant emissions from road transport. Indeed, between the first Euro standard and the first version of Euro 6, emissions were slashed by over 90%. The greatest improvements in air quality will be achieved by replacing older vehicles on EU roads and rapid electrification.”