The original draft of the emission standard from the European Commission would have a devastating impact on consumers, car companies talked about the fact that they would have to stop selling small cars. Czech MEP Alexandr Vondra, who is the rapporteur for the standard in the European Parliament, told journalists after the approval of the European Parliament’s position on the Euro 7 emission standard. As Vondra stated, he does not expect major disputes in further negotiations in the so-called trialogues and hopes for an agreement by the end of the year.

The closely watched Euro 7 standard talks about exhaust gas limits for cars and trucks and introduces new measures to reduce emissions from tires and brakes and to increase battery life.

Only the next weeks will show what the final version of the regulation will be. The meetings of the representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU will now follow. Vondra confirmed at the press conference that they officially started the trials today – in writing. Two meetings should follow, one at the end of November and the other in mid-December.

According to the proposal, which was already approved on September 25 by the ministers of the EU member states responsible for competitiveness, car manufacturers should reduce the emissions of new vehicles less than the original plan, and at the same time they should have a longer time to prepare the changes. In particular, the emission limits for passenger and commercial vehicles should remain at the level already contained in the current Euro 6 emission standard. As for trucks, these limits should be somewhat stricter.

Photo: Škoda Auto

A strict standard to reduce exhaust emissions would probably kill the smaller available cars, which are already quite economical.

According to the EC’s original plan, the Euro 7 emission regulation was supposed to come into effect for passenger cars already in mid-2025, two years later for trucks. However, many EU countries considered it unrealistic. Automakers complained that they would not have enough time to prepare the changes. The compromise from the Council of the EU has therefore extended the original schedule and provides for the introduction of measures 30 months after the entry into force of the standard for new models of passenger vehicles and 42 months for existing models. For trucks, it should have been 48 months and 60 months, respectively.

The position approved by the European Parliament today, however, proposes an even longer transition period. “If we want any changes, we have to give business time to adapt. What the European Commission proposed were absolutely draconian terms. So we have extended them, and at the same time, in our proposal, we want to force the Commission to hold the sword of Damocles over itself and to prepare in time the so-called secondary legislation to this standard, which are all kinds of technicalities,” explained Vondra. Only after the publication of this secondary legislation will the mentioned transition periods for individual cars begin to run, during which the industry will be able to prepare for the changes.

The Czech Republic, which led a coalition of like-minded states that also included France, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, played a significant role in negotiating the proposal in the Council of the European Union. All these countries opposed the original, in their view, unrealistic version of the standard proposed by the European Commission. With the subsequent compromise presented at the end of September by the Spanish Presidency, however, these countries were already satisfied.

Today, Alexandr Vondra once again praised the EU Council’s position from the end of September, and thanked the Czech Minister of Transport, Martin Kupka, who negotiated it. “It made our work a lot easier, the position of the council and the position of the parliament are not so far apart,” said the Czech MEP. As he added, if the emission limits in the standard eventually approach the previous Euro 6 standard (which is what the council’s proposal says), then, according to him, the parliament will not have to insist on longer transitional periods. “But I don’t want to foreshadow it, it will be subject to negotiation,” added Vondra.

The Euro 7 regulation also newly introduces measures to increase battery life, but also measures emissions from brakes and tires that affect human health. MEPs suggest that the related calculation methodologies and limits be aligned with international standards currently being prepared by the UN Economic Commission for Europe.