The Uncertain Future of the Euro 7 Environmental Standard: Challenges for the Automotive Sector

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The Euro 7 environmental standard is scheduled to come into force in July 2025.

The automotive sector may or may not be about to experience a revolution in terms of environmental standards. The European Commission responsible for the issue has set the deadline for the entry into force of the Euro 7 standard at July 2025. From July 1, 2025, the 6d standard should be phased out for light-duty vehicles. Trucks and other heavy vehicles will apply the Euro 7 standard from July 1, 2027.

However, this schedule does not help car manufacturers who believe that this is unrealistic.

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The sticking points

stumbling blocks

In general, car manufacturers oppose the application of the Euro 7 standard. Keeping to the schedule is akin to suicide for four-wheel brands. This standard is a regulation aimed at reducing the effects of pollution due to gas emissions from cars in Europe. Applied since 1992 in Europe, these anti-pollution regulations have evolved from Euro 1 to Euro 6d currently in force. It is periodically updated to allow combustion engine vehicles to reduce their environmental impact until they are phased out by 2035.

If the Euro standard has passed so far and Euro 7 is blocked, it is because of its impact on the cost of production. It calls for further improvements to internal combustion engines using fossil fuels. The project was presented by the European Commission in November 2022. Established under the direction of Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, the standard imposes a 35% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and a 13% reduction in those of fine particles. Technically, this forces manufacturers to install electrically heated catalysts and new diagnostic systems on board vehicles.

In a simpler way, the new standard imposes that the cars emit the least gram of carbon dioxide with the exhaust or present a neutral balance sheet carbon. This is equivalent to presenting a electric vehicle. However, 2025 is not the deadline for going 100% electric.

Time to change course?

With the opposition of manufacturers, the European Commission will have to find the right solution to restore calm to the automotive sector. It will be a difficult exercise to find the formula to constrain the builders. Either the application of the standard will be postponed or there will be no application.

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2023-06-03 19:23:51

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