European Parliament Endorses Euro 7 Regulations to Curtail Road Transport Emissions

The European Parliament has ratified the Euro 7 regulatory framework, which aims to reduce vehicular emissions, with a majority consensus. The legislative body’s approval, characterised by 297 affirmative votes, 190 opposing votes, and 37 abstentions, marks a significant step in the EU’s commitment to environmental sustainability in the transport sector.

Under the newly adopted Euro 7 rules, which encompass type-approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles, manufacturers must ensure that vehicles, including passenger cars, vans, buses, trucks, and trailers, adhere to stringent emission standards over an extended operational duration. This legislation is designed to maintain vehicular emission cleanliness throughout the lifecycle of these transport mediums.

The Euro 6 emission limits and testing conditions for passenger cars and vans will persist under the new regulation. However, a notable enhancement is the imposition of more rigorous exhaust emission thresholds for buses and trucks, both in laboratory assessments and real-world driving scenarios, albeit with the continuation of the Euro VI testing conditions.

For the first time, the EU is instituting quantifiable limits on brake particulate emissions (PM10) for cars and vans. Additionally, it is introducing minimum performance criteria for battery longevity in electric and hybrid vehicles, thereby addressing a key aspect of vehicular environmental impact.

In an effort to elevate consumer awareness, the Euro 7 regulation stipulates the issuance of an Environmental Vehicle Passport for each new vehicle. This document will encapsulate the environmental performance attributes of the vehicle at the point of registration, including pollutant emission limits, CO2 emissions, fuel and electricity consumption, electric range, and battery durability. Further, vehicle users will have access to real-time data on fuel consumption, battery health, pollutant emissions, and other pertinent details provided by onboard systems.

Rapporteur Alexandr Vondra (pictured) encapsulated the sentiment behind the legislative endorsement, highlighting the equilibrium achieved between ecological objectives and the manufacturing sector’s core interests. The regulation seeks to preserve the affordability of smaller combustion engine vehicles while facilitating the automotive industry’s transition towards sustainable practices.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has acknowledged the pivotal focus of the Euro 7 vote on contemporary challenges, such as brake emissions and electric vehicle battery mandates. Nonetheless, the ACEA has also underscored the heightened exhaust emission and testing procedure standards that will impact truck and bus manufacturers, who are already navigating the pathway to the 2030 decarbonisation targets

The next procedural phase involves the Council’s formal affirmation of the agreement, after which the regulation will be enforceable. Further decision-making on critical components through secondary legislation is pending, and the automotive lobby has noted outstanding textual inconsistencies for rectification.

The Euro 7 regulation represents a substantial legislative measure integrating environmental preservation into road transport. Its implementation is anticipated to yield a reduction in vehicular emissions, aligning with the EU’s broader environmental policy objectives.

Image: Alain ROLLAND. © European Union 2024 – Source : EP.