New ‘Euro’ pollutant emission proposal risks slowing down transition to zero-emission transport

Brussels, 10 November 2022 – The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has serious concerns about the European Commission’s proposal for new pollutant emission standards for cars and vans (Euro 7) and trucks and buses (Euro VII), published today.

With the current Euro 6/VI rules, the EU has the most comprehensive and stringent standards for pollutant emissions (such as NOx and PM) in the world. Exhaust emissions are already at a barely measurable level thanks to state-of-the art vehicle technology.

“The auto industry takes its role to reduce both CO2 and pollutant emissions very seriously. Indeed, last year we made a very constructive proposal for a new Euro 7 which would bring a major reduction in criteria pollutants, thus improving air quality,” explained Oliver Zipse, ACEA President and CEO of BMW. “Unfortunately, the environmental benefit of the Commission’s proposal is very limited, whereas it heavily increases the cost of vehicles. It focuses on extreme driving conditions that have hardly any real-life relevance.”

The Euro VII proposal is particularly harsh for trucks. It completely neglects the rapidly accelerating shift to zero-emission vehicles, and also ignores the effect of future CO2 targets for heavy-duty vehicles.

“To comply with Euro VII, truck makers will have to move substantial engineering and financial resources from battery and fuel-cell electric vehicles back to the internal combustion engine. This will severely impact our transition to zero-emission vehicles. It is not good for the climate, not good for people’s health and not good for the industry,” stated Martin Lundstedt, CEO of Volvo Group and Chairperson of ACEA’s Commercial Vehicle Board.

“Policy makers should focus on measures that accelerate fleet renewal, prioritising investments in zero-emission vehicles, which will have a far bigger impact on both air quality and reduced CO2 emissions,” said Lundstedt.

The Euro 7/VII legislative package will likely not be ready before mid-end 2024, especially considering the long list of additional tests it covers. The proposed implementation dates – July 2025 for cars and vans and July 2027 for heavy-duty vehicles – are unrealistic, given the huge number of vehicle models and variants that need to be developed, engineered, tested and type approved before then. Euro 7/VII therefore risks being very complex and costly, ACEA cautions.

The contribution of particles from non-exhaust sources, such as brake wear and tyre abrasion, will overtake exhaust particle emissions. Such emissions (from all vehicles, including electric) should be the focus of both Euro 7/VII and the tyre type-approval regulation, once robust new test procedures are ready.

The Euro VII proposal is particularly harsh for trucks. It completely neglects the rapidly accelerating shift to zero-emission vehicles, and also ignores the effect of future CO2 targets for heavy-duty vehicles.

Notes for editors

  • Recent studies show that the renewal of the older fleet with the latest Euro 6 vehicles – alongside the electrification of new vehicles – would deliver an 80% reduction in road transport NOx emissions by 2035 compared to 2020. The most stringent Euro 7/VII scenarios (zero NOx emissions) would reduce NOx emissions by less than an additional 5% for cars and vans, and by just an additional 2% for trucks.
  • More information about the Euro pollutant emissions standards can be found in the ACEA fact sheet: https://www.acea.auto/fact/fact-sheet-the-euro-pollutant-emission-standards/

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 16 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Renault Group, Stellantis, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • Visit www.acea.auto for more information about ACEA, and follow us on www.twitter.com/ACEA_auto or www.linkedin.com/company/ACEA/.
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, cm@acea.auto, +32 485 88 66 47.

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 13 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 7% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.4 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles are responsible for €374.6 billion of tax revenue for governments across key European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €79.5 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents more than 8% of the EU’s GDP.
  • Investing €58.8 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 32% of total EU spending.
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