MEPs Pass New Euro 7 Rules as EU NGOs Want to Ban American Pick-Up Imports: GMPB

Covered in this week’s Green Mobility Policy Brief: Euro 7: MEPs back new rules to reduce road transport emissions; Stockholm to ban petrol and diesel cars in 2025; NGOs call on EU to end American pick-up truck imports; £89m in UK government funding for zero emissions vehicle technology.

Euro 7: MEPs back new rules to reduce road transport emissions. The Committee on the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety (ENVI) of the European Parliament has adopted its proposals to lower pollutant emissions and establish battery durability requirements for passenger cars, vans, buses, and trucks under the Euro 7 regulations. The adopted text (52 for / 32 against / 1 abstention) endorses the pollutant emissions levels proposed by the European Commission, which includes targets for substances such as nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. In a move that reflects the varying sizes and purposes of vehicles, MEPs have also suggested a categorization of light commercial vehicles based on their weight, with specific emissions limits for each category. The Parliamentarians have also pushed back the implementation of stricter emissions for buses and trucks from 2025 and 2027, respectively, to 2030 and 2031. The new rules have not gone well with green groups. Anna Krajinska, vehicle emissions and air quality manager at T&E, said: “Overall Euro 7 is much, much weaker following the proposals put forward by the environmental committee. The small gains on durability and non-exhaust pollution in no way compensate for the disastrous weakening of limits and testing for cars, vans and trucks. It will allow 100 million more highly polluting cars to be sold and driven on our roads for decades to come”.

[Adopted] The Decarbonisation of Aviation: An Insight into the ReFuelEU Aviation Initiative

Stockholm to ban petrol and diesel cars in 2025. Stockholm aims to ban petrol and diesel cars in key city centre areas starting in 2025 to enhance air quality and curb traffic noise. This move, endorsed by the Green Party, will establish an environmental zone covering 20 blocks of Stockholm’s inner city, encompassing upscale shopping streets and prime office space. The goal is to accelerate the transition from combustion-engine vehicles to electric ones due to concerns about air quality. The plan primarily permits fully electric cars, with exceptions for larger vans and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Exemptions are also made for emergency vehicles and cars carrying those with documented disabilities. The Green Party intends to expand the environmental zone in the future. However, some in the transport sector argue that greater investment in electric charging infrastructure, rather than an outright ban, would be a more pragmatic approach.  

UK Government introduces “Plan for Drivers”.

NGOs call on the EU to end American pick-up truck imports. An alliance comprising safety and environmental groups has recently called upon the European Union to close the loopholes that allow the influx of dangerous American-style pick-up trucks on European roads. These vehicles, according to the NGOs, do not conform to the 2019 EU General Safety Regulation (GSR) or the EU car and van CO2 standards, yet they continue to be imported into Europe through the individual vehicle approval (IVA) loophole. As a result, these supposed off-road vehicles have become a growing concern due to their adverse impacts on safety and the environment. Over the past year, the number of American-style pick-up trucks and oversized off-road vehicles approved for European roads has seen a significant increase. In 2022 alone, 6,800 of these vehicles received approval, with the majority being imports. Dodge Rams, which weigh 2,600 kg (more than a white rhino), and which pollute three times more than the average European car, account for 60% of imports. The NGOs involved in the call include the European Transport Safety Council, European Cyclists’ Federation, POLIS, BEUC, Eurocities, the International Federation of Pedestrians, and Transport & Environment.

A Call to Carmakers: Prioritise Small, Affordable EVs Over SUVs

£89m in UK government funding for zero emissions vehicle technology. The United Kingdom has allocated £89 million in funding for 20 cutting-edge net zero tech projects. The landmark package, overseen by the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC), aims to bolster the nation’s efforts to build a comprehensive supply chain for Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) in the country. This financial injection comprises four collaborative research and development (R&D) projects, five scale-up projects focused on assessing the readiness of businesses in the automotive sector for growth, and seven feasibility studies designed to prepare for the establishment of large-scale manufacturing facilities in the UK. Of the £89 million, £45.2 million comes from the UK government, with an additional £42.7 million contributed by the automotive industry. Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said: “from net zero tractors to cutting-edge battery projects, we’re taking decisive action to back the UK’s innovators and ensure we remain at the forefront of zero emission vehicle technology.