Euro 7: Parliament improves Commission proposal, but technical feasibility concerns remain
The Automotive Industry Association has long campaigned for a form of Euro 7 that will keep a wide range of vehicle models available on the market that customers really want, while maintaining employment in the sector, keeping it competitive and also delivering real environmental benefits. We therefore welcome the result of the European Parliament’s vote, which has confirmed the position of the Environment Committee and which is an improvement on the European Commission’s original proposal.
However, concerns remain about the feasibility and impact of some of the technical requirements, such as the increase in requirements for new on-board vehicle diagnostics or the further tightening of emissions from brake and tyre wear.
“Even taking into account the conflicting positions of the political parties in the European Parliament, it is necessary to appreciate the compromise for which the main rapporteur, MEP Alexandr Vondra, managed to obtain the necessary majority. We consider the adopted text to be a significant improvement on the original European Commission proposal. One example of the refinement of the requirements is, for example, the question of entry into force. Linking the countdown for entry into force to the adoption of secondary legislation is crucial to ensure that manufacturers and test centres have the necessary time to react to the new regulatory requirements,” says Zdeněk Petzl, Executive Director of the Automotive Industry Association.
The original text led to disproportionate costs and diverted investment away from the transition to zero-emission mobility, put smaller and affordable vehicles at risk and could have led to plant closures with serious impacts on employment. Despite all this, the environmental benefits were very limited. A real improvement can be achieved by replacing older vehicles with new models with the current Euro 6/VI standard, combined with a move towards electrification of the fleet.
The Automotive Industry Association believes that it makes sense to address the new requirements of the standard, such as brake and tyre abrasion emissions, as these are also relevant for electric vehicles and will remain the last sources of vehicle emissions in the future. In this context, it is important to highlight the progress that manufacturers have made in reducing pollutant emissions from road transport. Describing Euro 6/VI vehicles as ‘highly polluting’ is a completely false statement. There has been a real reduction in vehicle emissions of more than 90% since the first Euro standard to Euro 6.
However, concerns remain about some of the technical parameters of the current form of the standard. Therefore, ahead of the upcoming final negotiations between the Council of Member States and the European Parliament on the final text, we urge legislators to continue to carefully weigh the technical difficulty and realism of each parameter against the potential benefits and negatives for users and society. Our effort should be to promote a responsible and balanced approach and to adopt a form of the Euro 7 standard that will not place unnecessary obstacles in the way of the Czech, but also the European, car industry on its way to achieving the already ambitious decarbonisation targets (banning the sale of internal combustion engines in 2035) and thus helping to maintain the competitiveness of the car industry in global competition.
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