EU tightens car pollution standards –

The European Commission’s long-awaited proposal to reduce air pollution caused by cars was published on Thursday (November 10th). It slightly tightens exhaust emission standards for cars and vans, and for the first time places limits on particles emitted by brakes and tires.

The new Euro 7 rules are due to come into force in July 2025 for cars and vans, and in July 2027 for trucks and buses.

The commission said that in designing these measures, it assessed the need to reduce pollution from combustion engines and the additional costs such a measure would impose on the auto industry, which is already investing heavily in transitioning to zero-emission vehicles.

Recently passed European legislation stipulates that only zero-emission vehicles can be sold from 2035, effectively forcing automakers to adopt electric or hydrogen technology.

EU spells death knell for petrol and diesel cars

European Union lawmakers reached a deal on Thursday evening requiring new cars and vans to be carbon neutral from 2035. The landmark agreement moves Europe into a future where the car will be mostly electric.

The Commission believes that the new Euro 7 standards can be met using technologies that already exist. Therefore, car manufacturers will not have to develop prototypes of new combustion engines.

Brussels is also reluctant to raise the purchase price of a new car in the current high inflation environment. According to EU estimates, Euro 7 standards will impose a 0.6% increase in the price of a new car or van. The impact on trucks and buses is expected to be greater, with increases of up to 3.1%.

EU Climate Action Commissioner Frans Timmermans announced the new rules “It will work hand in hand” with CO2 emission standards to clean the air in cities.

Internal market commissioner Thierry Breton said the standards should be revised, given the transition to zero-emission technologies. “By 2035, it will ensure the presence of fuel-powered cars in our market […] where it is used, it will be clean for as long as possible.”

Speaking to reporters, Mr Breton said that in 2050 around 20% of cars on EU roads will still be combustion engines, and that the figure will be much higher in foreign markets, particularly in Asia and Latin America.

According to Breton, the standards are also needed to limit brake and tire emissions, which will not be reduced by the transition to all-electric vehicles.

While regenerative braking — braking in which an electric motor slows the car without using brake pads — helps reduce particulate emissions from the brakes, the greater weight of electric vehicles means they are more likely to shed particles from the wheels. similar sized combustion engine car.

New technical standards

Under the proposal, the lowest possible exhaust emission values ​​under the Euro 6 standard will be mandatory for cars and vans. These standards will better take into account real-world driving conditions, such as frequent stops and starts in cities.

On the other hand, trucks will be subject to stricter restrictions as they will have to use combustion engine technologies for a longer period of time.

Cars and vans must comply with the rules of the Euro 7 standard twice as long as the Euro 6 standard, and the compliance period will be up to 10 years and 200,000 kilometers.

Although there is a standard for monitoring brake emissions, there is currently no agreed methodology for measuring the removal of microplastics from tires. Instead, MPs will wait to see the outcome of UN-level discussions, which are expected to take place in 2024.

The legislation also covers batteries for electric vehicles, which must meet new sustainability standards.

Euro 7 requires cars to use sensors to measure emissions during the vehicle’s lifetime to avoid a repeat of the Dieselgate (or Volkswagen Affair) scandal, where the technology was used to falsify emissions testing.

This information will be available to the driver and will alert him when his car violates emission standards.

The digital solutions could also enable geofencing, which would theoretically allow hybrid cars to switch to electric motors when entering a low-emissions zone, according to a European official.


Industry and environmental activists have all criticized the proposal, but for different reasons.

Automotive industry trade association ACEA said the proposal would slow down the transition to cleaner vehicles, particularly trucks, by draining financial resources.

The new legislation has limited environmental benefits, however “Significantly increases the price of vehicles”ACEA chairman and BMW CEO Oliver Zipse said so in his statement.

The German Automobile Industry Association (VDA) argued that the deadlines specified in the regulation could not be met.

“The European Commission’s proposal published today pursues unrealistic extreme goals, not balance and feasibility. The cap value reductions for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles are nominally low, but the deadlines are not achievable.”Hildegard Müller, president of the German industry association VDA, said this in a press release.

Transport and Environment (T&E), an NGO specializing in clean mobility, however criticized the Commission for not imposing stricter pollution limits on new cars.

“The proposals for cars are so weak that the car industry could write them themselves”said Anna Krajinska, T&E’s manager of vehicle emissions and air quality.

“Despite record profits, carmakers lied to Commission by saying ambitious Euro 7 standard is unattainable”he added.

[Informations complémentaires par Jonathan Packroff.]

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