Euro 7 anti-pollution standards: Brussels warns industrialists
Thierry Breton, the European commissioner for the internal market, presented this morning his proposals regarding the new limits of pollutant emissions, the “Euro 7” standards. A text feared by the auto industry but ultimately appearing less restrictive than expected.
After voting to ban the sale of thermal cars in the European Union in 2035, Brussels is watering its wine. The proposal for the Euro 7 standard, which aims to limit pollutant and harmful emissions for human health and air quality (but not CO2 emissions), does not differ much from the current standards set 12 years ago.
The text released this morning raises very little requirements for passenger cars in terms of nitrogen oxide or carbon monoxide emissions. For example, the Euro 7 draft for nitrogen oxide stops the slide at 60 milligrams per kilometer for all light vehicles leaving the factory from July 1, 2025. Today, the limit is set at 60 milligrams and 80 milligrams per kilometer for gasoline-powered cars. milligrams for diesel models.
Strict rules for trucks and buses
On the other hand, the text tightens the standards for trucks and buses. According to the European Commission’s calculations, by 2035 the new Euro 7 rules will allow for a 56% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions and a 39% reduction in fine particles for heavy-duty vehicles.
“Some will criticize the Commission for being too ambitious, others for not being ambitious enough,” concluded Thierry Breton.
“This is proof that we have found the right balance,” added the European Commissioner for the Internal Market.
Industrialists in the sector are still unhappy
Marc Mortureux, managing director of the Platform for Cars (PFA), an organization that brings together key players in the French automotive sector, admits that the text released this morning may at first appear to be soft on the sector.
“The emission limit values on the screen don’t move much,” he explains to us.
“But the question is, how do we respect these values, under what conditions, how are the tests carried out. All this is highly technical and I am not sure that this Euro 7 project will be so favorable for the automotive sector. It has ended,” he continued. does.
The tone is the same at the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. “The environmental impact of this proposal is very limited,” warns Oliver Zipse, president of ACEA and managing director of BMW, “and it significantly increases the cost of cars.”
At what cost to producers and consumers?
To meet Euro 7 regulations, which are still far from being adopted, manufacturers will really have to bring their cars up to standard.
Thierry assured Breton this morning: “There will be no additional costs of more than 100 euros per car.” This calculation is far from universally accepted.
“At the moment, it is very difficult to calculate the amount of additional costs that Euro 7 brings,” says Marc Mortureux. Some manufacturers are more excited. According to Renault’s managing director Luca de Meo, the new arrangement could cost cars thousands of euros more.
The budget that manufacturers prefer to allocate to the electrification of their range. Electricity was not forgotten by Thierry Breton this morning. During the press conference, the European Commissioner insisted on a crucial point in his opinion: electric cars also pollute the environment. They are on average 40% heavier than a thermal car, and this has consequences for brakes and tires. Thus, the Euro 7 regulatory project aims to limit emissions of particulates and microplastics from tires during braking.
Very critical environmentalists
“This is very inadequate. The Commission chooses to protect the profits of the car industry rather than the health of citizens,” lamented Lucien Mathieu from the NGO Transport and Environment. He decries the influence of car-producing countries such as France, Italy and Germany. A view taken by Karima Delli. “The lobbying of the car manufacturers has had its effect,” the MP for environmental protection lamented. Opinion shared by Respire association. “This is a victory for the car lobby! By the way, the Euro 7 standard will harm public health and slow down the transition to low-emission vehicles,” Tony Renucci, the Association’s Managing Director, criticizes. Karima Delli notes that “in the Parliament, we will do everything to improve the text.” Discussions must now be held with the Member States and the European Parliament.