Amid the transformation of the automotive sector European manufacturers are investing time and money lobbying the EU to reduce or delay the introduction of new emissions regulations. They do this with the help of states like Spain, which has taken a pioneering role in lowering environmental targets, with the unforeseeable consequences that this will have.
Up to eight EU countries, including Spain, France and Italy have spoken out against tougher transport emissions rules, arguing that European manufacturers are already under pressure to comply with the bloc’s planned sales ban on new internal combustion engine cars in 2035.
The big obstacle is the implementation of Euro 7, which will come into force for cars in mid-2025 and for buses and trucks two years later.
The new legislation will tighten emission limits for pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particles from brakes and tires. According to manufacturers, the environmental benefit will be minimal compared to the high cost.
The cost of implementation is one of the main arguments used by manufacturers to reject Euro 7. According to their estimates, this will force them to allocate significant resources to a technology, namely internal combustion engines, the sale of which will be banned ten years later.
Spain, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, expects to present the draft of the new proposal at the Competitiveness Council next week. But this draft does not meet with the approval of all states.
Accordingly, the implementation deadlines would be delayed from mid-2025 for cars and mid-2027 for trucks.
According to the current Euro 7 standard, cars and small trucks have 24 months to comply with the regulations after the regulation comes into force, while buses and trucks over 3.5 tons have 48 months.
Lobby group Transport and Environment (T&E) criticized the draft, saying countries had “gave in to manufacturers’ threats and doomed Europeans to lung disease and premature death for decades to come«.
According to T&E press release “This new proposal from the Spanish Presidency weakens the emission limits for passenger cars. There are no changes to the emissions limits for cars and vans compared to Euro 6, not even for diesel, which can emit more NOx (laughing gas) as pollutants than petrol.»
The move to ease emissions rules comes at a time when high inflation and concerns about the costs of environmental reform could trigger a European backlash against the speed of the transition.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the EU should abandon the Euro 7 standard because it would cost European carmakers. useless money“ at a crucial moment of transition.
Once EU countries have agreed on their position on Euro 7, they will begin negotiations with the European Parliament on the final form of the agreement.