The regulation introduces entirely new measures to reduce emissions from tires and brakes and to increase battery life. In order for the standard to come into force, it must still be approved by the ministers of the member countries and the plenary session of the European Parliament, which is, of course, already considered a formality.
“We have an agreement, I am very happy,” Alexandr Vondra (ODS), rapporteur for the norm in the European Parliament, told Czech journalists in Brussels. “In a fundamental way, we trimmed down the original proposal of the European Commission for Euro 7 in such a way that the availability, especially the price, of smaller cars, including new aut with internal combustion engines in the coming years and so that it does not destabilize the automotive industry. So that he really has time to prepare for transformational steps,” Vondra added.
During the negotiations on the standard, a compromise was reached, the Council of the EU gave way in some positions, and the European Parliament in others. Exhaust gas emission limits will remain at the level contained in the current Euro 6 emission standard, including testing limits, according to the final version of the regulation.
Eight countries opposed the original proposal of the European Commission, even according to representatives of the automotive industry an unrealistic version of Euro 7, at the very beginning of the negotiations. The Czech Republic led a coalition of like-minded states, which also included France, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
According to the original proposal of the European Commission, the Euro 7 emission regulation was supposed to come into effect for passenger cars already in mid-2025, for trucks two years later. Many EU countries considered this unrealistic. Automakers also complained that they would not have enough time to prepare the changes. The compromise therefore extended the original schedule. It now expects to introduce measures 2.5 years after the entry into force of the standard for new models of passenger vehicles and 3.5 years for existing models. For trucks aut it should be four years or five years, respectively. These deadlines will allow automakers to prepare for new requirements.
“When it comes to internal combustion engines, basically nothing will change in terms of emissions compared to Euro 6. With one small exception and that is the particulate filter, but it costs ten euros, i.e. 250 crowns, which is not a drama,” Vondra described the result the compromise reached regarding cars and commercial vehicles. Although the emission limits for trucks are slightly stricter (especially when it comes to nitrogen emissions), they are still technologically achievable for manufacturers. Euro 7 will replace Euro 6 (for cars, vans and light vehicles) and Euro VI (for trucks and heavy goods vehicles) with a single piece of legislation that applies to both types of vehicles.
Newly, the standard introduces measures to reduce emissions from tires and brakes. “I think that has value because it affects the health of the population,” Vondra said, referring to the increasing amount of microplastics in water and soil. “It’s something that could help, and the industry will get time to prepare for it,” added the Czech MEP.
Emissions of solid particles, which are caused by the rubbing of tires on the road and brake pads on discs, have not yet been regulated. The new standard sets a limit of three mg/km for pure electric vehicles, seven mg/km for most combustion engine and hybrid electric vehicles and eleven mg/km for large vans.
The last contentious topic addressed at the trialogue today was battery life. In the end, it was possible to reach a compromise that was closer to the EU Council’s position. “The parliament’s high ambitions here could have hinted at the fact that this time the price of a smaller electric cars, and nobody wants that either. They’re expensive already,” Vondra noted.
The agreement finally establishes the following minimum performance requirements for battery life in electric and hybrid cars: 80 percent from the start of life to five years or 100,000 kilometers driven and 72 percent to eight years or 160,000 kilometers. For vans, these values are 75 percent from the beginning of the service life to five years or 100,000 kilometers and 67 percent to eight years or 160,000 kilometers.
Vondra expects a vote in the committee and subsequently in the plenary of the European Parliament at the beginning of next year. “It has to be done by February,” he said. At the same time, he has a word from the representatives of the coalition, which already supported him in the European Parliament during the November vote, that they will also vote for him in the final approval of the standard.
The Czech MEP did not want to predict whether the Czech automotive industry would be satisfied with the final version. “I can’t speak for anyone, but I think he should be. There is a clear shift in favor of industrial, business and consumer stability. But it’s never a 10-0 victory, it’s not in football or politics, it’s always 6-4 or 2-1,” concluded Vondra.