As rumored Earlier this week, the European Council recommended significantly watering down its Euro 7 emissions standards for new passenger cars.
The original Euro 7 regulations, proposed at the end of 2022, were due to come into force on July 1, 2025 and envisaged stricter testing protocols and the harmonization of emission limits for petrol and diesel cars.
For example, current Euro 6 regulations allow diesel vehicles to emit a maximum of 80 mg/km nitrogen oxides (NOx), while petrol vehicles have a limit of 60 mg/km. On the other hand, petrol cars have a limit of 1.0 g/km of carbon monoxide, while for diesel cars the limit was limited to just 0.5 g/km.
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Some manufacturers, such as Stellantis and Renault, argued that implementing the original Euro 7 proposal would be too expensive and would take a lot of time and money away from their electric vehicle development efforts.
Critics also argued that the changes were an unnecessary distraction because, at this point, the EU will effectively ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars from 2035.
In the end, at the urging of eight automotive nations – including France, Italy and the Czech Republic – the European Council agreed to retain the current Euro 6 emissions regulations for both petrol and diesel cars and vans for the Euro 7 standard.
However, there will be stricter emission limits for trucks and buses, new particle emission limits for brakes and tires, and new rules for battery life in electric vehicles.
Today’s agreement by the European Council is just the first step towards approving the new Euro 7 rules. The European Commission and the popularly elected European Parliament must also give their consent, meaning there could be further changes to the Euro 7 standards before they are enacted.
The EU passed its first vehicle emissions law in 1993, with the bloc tightening standards about every five years. The 1993 Euro 1 standard limited NOx emissions to 0.97 g/km and carbon monoxide emissions to 2.72 g/km for diesel vehicles and 2.27 g/km for petrol vehicles. A limit of 0.14 g/km has also been set for diesel vehicles.
Let’s now move on to the current Euro 6 regulations, which came into force in 2015. NOx emissions were reduced to 0.06 g/km for petrol vehicles and 0.08 g/km for diesel vehicles, carbon monoxide emissions were reduced to 1.0 g/km for petrol vehicles, 0.5 g/km for diesel vehicles and particulate matter limited to just 0.005 g/km for diesel and petrol vehicles.
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