10 nov 22

New Euro 7 emission standards will increase fleet costs

Fleets will face an additional cost of over €300 per car or van, to cover the extra costs that vehicle manufacturers will incur to meet new Euro 7 emissions standards.

The European Commission today [10 November] unveiled the new standards, which are scheduled to apply to all new cars and vans from 1 July 2025.

Its proposal document said: “Total regulatory costs are estimated €304 per vehicle for light-duty vehicles and at €2,681 per vehicle for heavy-duty vehicles.”

Euro 7 will apply to all vehicle powertrains, including petrol and diesel internal combustion engines, as well as hybrid, electric, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Tougher rules for diesel

The regulation applies tighter standards for diesel vehicles, reducing the maximum limit for nitrogen oxide (NOx) to 60 mg/km, from 80 mg/km under Euro 6. The limits for petrol remain the same at 60mg/km. Vehicles will also have to be equipped with on-board monitoring systems to measure their emissions performance, and be able to alert drivers to any emissions problems.  

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Brake and tyre emissions 

Euro 7 will also apply to electric vehicles, setting standards for battery durability, as well as establishing limits on non-exhaust emissions, such as particle emissions from brakes and microplastic emissions tyres, which the EC says will soon be the major source of particle emissions from road transport.

The new standards will apply for twice as long as Euro 6, so vehicles will need to stay below Euro 7 emission levels for up to 10 years and 200,000km.

By 2035, according to the EC, the Euro 7 standards will lower total NOx emissions from cars and vans by 35% compared to Euro 6, cut tailpipe particles by 13%, and reduce particles from car brakes by 27%. The Commission says cars and vans are the largest source of air pollution in cities, responsible for more than 39% of NOx and 10% of primary PM2.5 and PM10 particulate emissions in 2018, and causing about 70,000 premature deaths in the EU-28.

Manufacturer reaction

Speaking at the Fleet Europe Summit, Uwe Hochgeschurtz, COO, Stellantis, condemned the new regulations as a drain on resources that would be better spent developing zero emission technologies than delivering minimal advances on Euro 6, and pledged to fight against Euro 7 ever coming into force.

"At the moment we are all going 100% eletric so why do we devote resources to a shrinking volume, which will be down to zero by 2035?" he asked. "Euro 7 makes no sense and we should stop it immediately and put all our resources into carbon free mobility," he said. "I do not believe that this is a democratic decision and we will try to do everything to make sure Euro 7 is not introduced. Euro 6 is sufficient and all the rest is done by electrification. Each vehicle we put on the road that is electric is much better than any Euro 7, 8 or 9 car."

The vehicle manufacturers’ association ACEA echoed Hochgeschurtz's criticism, saying the new Euro 7 regulations were a distraction that would drive up the cost of vehicles and divert manufacturer resources from the development of zero emission powertrains.

Martin Sander, general manager, Ford Model e Europe, tweeted that he was: “Disappointed by the proposed Euro7 standard for vehicles with combustions engines. Let’s stop diverting resources to yesterday’s technology and invest in zero-emissions instead.”

The new regulations are particularly challenging for heavy commercial vehicles.

Martin Lundstedt, CEO of Volvo Group and Chairperson of ACEA’s Commercial Vehicle Board, added: “To comply with Euro 7, truck makers will have to move substantial engineering and financial resources from battery and fuel-cell electric vehicles back to the internal combustion engine. This will severely impact our transition to zero-emission vehicles. It is not good for the climate, not good for people’s health and not good for the industry. Policy makers should focus on measures that accelerate fleet renewal, prioritising investments in zero-emission vehicles, which will have a far bigger impact on both air quality and reduced CO2 emissions.”

Environmental reaction

However, Transport & Environment (T&E), condemned the standards set by Euro 7 as ‘shockingly weak’, arguing that manufacturer profits had been prioritised ahead of human health, and called on the European Parliament to reject them.

Anna Krajinska, vehicle emissions and air quality manager at T&E, said: “Despite enjoying record profits, carmakers have sold the Commission a lie that an ambitious Euro 7 is unaffordable. The tragedy is that toxic pollution from road transport kills 70,000 people each year and this proposal does close to nothing to prevent that. It will put close to 100 million highly polluting cars on our streets which will stay there for decades to come.” 

Image: Shutterstock

Authored by: Jonathan Manning