The European Parliament adopts the Euro 7 standard


On November 9, 2023, the European Parliament adopted the Euro 7 standard. “The Parliament is now ready to begin negotiations with EU governments on the final form of the law,” notes the Parliament in a press release. According to the adopted text, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from a light thermal vehicle, whatever its fuel, should not exceed 60 mg/km, i.e. the threshold set by Euro 6 for ‘essence. Euro 6 indeed displays a more comfortable threshold for diesel, at 80 mg/km. As for carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from light vehicles, Euro 7 will require emissions which must not exceed 500 mg/km, i.e. the threshold for diesel under Euro 6; according to the Euro 6 standard, gasoline must be limited to 1,000 mg/km of CO.

In other words, with regard to NOx and CO emissions, the new Euro 7 standard will closely resemble Euro 6 since it uses the lowest thresholds. Something new is nevertheless planned: Euro 7 will introduce new measures to reduce emissions linked to tires and brakes, and to increase the durability of batteries.

A Euro 7 deemed insufficient…
Euro 7 remains no less criticized. “This new Euro 7 standard is in reality a Euro 6 bis standard,” we can read in a press release issued by Karima Delli, president of the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament. “A strict limitation of emissions of nitrogen oxide (40 times more toxic than carbon monoxide) and fine particles was nevertheless essential,” the press release continues. The real cost of Euro 7 is 100 billion euros in health damage for Europe by 2050.”

And while the European Commission’s text, unveiled in November 2022, provided for the entry into force of Euro 7 from July 1, 2025 for light vehicles, an amendment, adopted by Parliament, revised this deadline, postponing it on July 1, 2030. For heavy vehicles, the standard was to take effect from July 1, 2027; we will now have to wait until July 1, 2031. “The Euro 7 standard voted on today by the European Parliament is proof that Europe has still not learned the lessons of Dieselgate,” denounced Karima Delli. I refuse to vote for such waste, when there are 300,000 victims of air pollution every year in Europe.”

A Voxeurop investigation, taken up and enriched by several media outlets, including Libération in France and the Guardian in the United Kingdom, was published at the start of the week, shortly before the Parliament vote. It reveals the intensive lobbying of the automobile industry to lighten the Euro 7 standard. The ACEA, directly implicated in the Voxeurop investigation, also reacted to the vote in Parliament, complaining about regulations which would require considerable investments to manufacturers, in addition to their “enormous efforts for decarbonization”, and called on legislators for more “realism”.

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