Europe launches new emissions standard for cars

Passenger cars and vans will be affected from July 1, 2025. Anton Gvozdikov /

European Commissioner Thierry Breton announced the stricter Euro 7 criteria that will apply to cars from 2025.

Did Euro 7 have to be born? European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton is lifting the lid this Thursday on his proposal for a new anti-pollution standard for new cars in Europe from July 1, 2025, for passenger cars and vans. 2027 for trucks and buses. “Now that we have put an end to CO2 emissions for light car sales by 2035, we have to tackle other emissions.”The European Commissioner pleads.

The efforts of manufacturers to take into account these new criteria will not be insignificant. Indeed, the Commission proposes to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 35% for light vehicles (cars and vans) and 56% for heavy-duty vehicles compared to the previous Euro 6 standard. 13% for light cars and 39% for heavy trucks. “Some will criticize the Commission for being too ambitious, others for not being ambitious enough.Thierry Breton summarizes. This is proof that we have found the right balance. We provide visibility to the automotive sector. For the domestic market as well as for the international market».

Opposition of industrialists

This project, which was postponed several times by the Commission, seemed more and more hypothetical. In fact, the Euro 7 standard will expire in 2035, at the same time as the sale of new cars equipped with combustion engines ends. Producers did not hesitate to mention this in recent weeks. “The Euro 7 standard is useless. We don’t need itreiterated Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares at the Paris Motor Show last October. Why are we using our resources for technology that will be banned? It doesn’t make sense”. Stellantis’ boss echoes the views of most car manufacturers and European equipment manufacturers, whose human and financial efforts are focused on the 2035 horizon.

The head of Renault, Luca de Meo, also stated a few days ago that the implementation of this standard is not a priority for him: “The current Euro 6D standard allows to significantly reduce emissions during fleet renewal. The Euro 7 standard will improve the level very slightly. But this will increase the price of each car by thousands of euros and force our engineers to work when we need to mobilize electricity.”.

A point refuted by Thierry Breton. “The question of the price of Euro 7 for consumers was important for us. With the price of a car around 100-150 euros, which is less than 3% of the price of heavy cars, European consumers will not have to delay buying a new car. he assures.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has tried to make itself heard in recent months. He points out that from 2014 – the date Euro 6 came into force – to 2020, total NOx emissions fell by 25% for the EU car and van fleet, and 36% for heavy trucks. At the same time, the total emissions of fine particles decreased by 28% for the former and 14% for the latter. But the Commission recalls that in 2018, pollution related to fine particles and nitrogen oxide emissions caused nearly 70,000 premature deaths in the Union.

Mandatory standard

Despite their denials and arguments, European manufacturers will have no choice but to comply with this standard. They cannot ignore almost a decade of car and commercial vehicle sales in Europe by ignoring the new criteria. The proposal also regulates formaldehyde, an irritant and carcinogenic gas, and nitrous oxide for trucks and buses. This applies to “clean” vehicles as well, including particles from brakes and tires to reduce these particles by 27%. The Commission is pleased that Euro 7 is the first standard in the world to regulate the smallest ultrafine particles (down to 10 nm) from brakes and batteries.

Euro 7 is a proposal from the Commission. It still has a long way to go. Until then, some points could be revised. But manufacturers will not be able to avoid the new restrictions.

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