ACEA proposals for Euro 7 and Euro VII emission standards

In order to further reduce emissions on the road to climate neutrality, the EU automobile industry will continue to improve internal combustion engine technology, in parallel to its massive ramp-up of electrification for European and global markets.

In a communication to the European Commission in June 2021, ACEA suggested an approach forsingle step Euro 7/VII proposals that are proportional to what is needed to help meet the objectives of the Green Deal.

This involves distinct Euro 7 and Euro VII regulations (addressing the characteristics of passenger cars and light vans, as well as those of heavy-duty commercial vehicles), each of which is part of an integrated and consistent package built on three pillars:

  1. An ambitious timeframe of 2025/2026
  2. Challenging 50% reductions in the key criteria pollutant emission limits (these will require R&D effort and hardware changes for new vehicles)
  3. Minimal changes to the current well-functioning Euro 6/VI test procedures to ensure that the ambitious timeframe can be fulfilled

The first rationale for this approach was to encourage the co-legislators to reach agreement quickly in 2022, allowing for any subsequent additional technical measures (delegated act) to be focused and delivered rapidly. This would have given industry clarity and the lead time needed for future planning and engineering changes.

Quickly completing Euro 7/VII would also help with the major focus of the auto industry: decarbonising road transport to help achieve climate neutrality by 2050. CO2 targets for 2030 will be more stringent, requiring increased sales of new zero-emission vehicles.

To make this possible, industry needs to focus its investments and engineering talent on delivering carbon-neutral mobility. In parallel, the electrification of the fleet will contribute to improved air quality in cities.

However, the situation has evolved substantially since last June:

  • The European Commission has now updated the date for its Euro 7/VII proposal to Q3 2022 (assumed to be 20 July 2022), which would be more than 13 months after ACEA submitted its proposal
  • The discussions on passenger car and van CO2 targets have started, with a significant hardening in the level of ambition expected
  • The Commission proposal for heavy-duty vehicle CO2 targets, due later in 2022, will also have a major impact
  • Since the AGVES process closed in April 2021, there is still no clear indication from the Commission of what the Euro 7/VII proposals will look like and if they would be similar in any way to ACEA’s proposals

ACEA’s proposals for the content of Euro 7 and VII still stand but due to these uncertainties, the feasibility of the stated timeframe of the ACEA proposals needs to be reassessed. The speed of the complete decision-making process, final content and resulting lead-time remain absolutely critical.

We call on the European Commission to consider the nature of new Euro 7/VII regulations in the context of the massive transition our industry is going through to deliver carbon-neutral mobility.

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