After much protest and debate, the entry into force of the Euro 7 standard could be postponed until 2027, or even later. This is the proposal put forward by the European Parliament, which approved the regulation on stricter car emissions by 329 votes to 230, with 41 abstentions. As you will recall, this is the text presented by the European Commission in November 2022 and which, according to Brussels' plans, should be operational on 1 July 2025.

But the legislation is not convincing manufacturers on the Old Continent, who are complaining about the industrial and economic effort required to produce a technology (i.e. combustion cars that pollute less and less) that will be scrapped in 2035, when petrol and diesel vehicles will cease to be sold, in favour of electric vehicles.

The final stage

The Strasbourg plenary session thus accepted the position of the Environment Committee, which had called for a postponement of the crackdown in order to satisfy the manufacturers. However, the EU Competitiveness Council had given the go-ahead for this postponement.

Auto e camion in strada

The new text will now represent the position of the European Parliament during the trialogue, i.e. the negotiations with the European Commission and the Member States. At this stage, however, the agreement should cover 2027.

"We have succeeded in striking a balance between environmental objectives and the vital interests of manufacturers", said rapporteur Alexandr Vondra, adding: "It would be counterproductive to implement environmental policies that harm both European industry and its citizens. Thanks to our compromise, we are serving the interests of all parties concerned and avoiding extreme positions".

What is Euro 7?

But what exactly does Euro 7 provide? "The new regulation," reads a press release, "will update current limits for exhaust emissions (such as nitrogen oxides, particulates, carbon monoxide and ammonia) and introduce new measures to reduce emissions from tyres and brakes and increase battery life".

"MEPs approve the levels proposed by the Commission for pollutant emissions from passenger cars and propose a further division of emissions into three categories for light commercial vehicles according to weight. They also propose stricter limits for exhaust emissions measured in the laboratory and under real driving conditions for buses and heavy goods vehicles."

"The Parliament also wants to align the EU's calculation methods and limits for brake particulate emissions and tyre abrasion rates with the international standards being developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe."

"Fine, but...

"We can only express our satisfaction at today's decision by the European Parliament on the Euro 7 proposal, because we are convinced that the fruitful confrontation of recent months has enabled many policy-makers to understand the complexity and, in some cases, the irrationality of certain parts of the Commission's proposal", says Roberto Vavassori, President of Anfia.

However, Acea's position, expressed by its Director General Sigrid de Vries, is more critical: "The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association recognises that the European Parliament has today voted in favour of a more realistic approach to the Euro 7 standard than that proposed by the European Commission last year. However, Euro 7 still comes at a high price and at a very critical time in the industry's transformation.

"The fact remains that the Euro 7 standard represents a major investment for carmakers, in addition to the considerable efforts they are making in terms of decarbonisation. It also comes against an extremely difficult geopolitical and economic backdrop, with soaring energy prices, supply chain shortages, inflationary pressures and slowing consumer demand. Europe needs a proportionate Euro 7 standard that reconciles environmental concerns with industrial competitiveness".