The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has reported that it expects the recent Euro 7 European Parliament vote to cement Europe’s place as the global ‘pacesetter’ for emission standards for cars, vans, trucks, and buses. The Euro 7 regulations (type-approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles) mean that vehicles will need to comply with the new standards for longer, ensuring that they remain cleaner throughout their lifetime.

“[The] Euro 7 vote has put the focus where it matters most: on future-oriented challenges such as vehicle brake emissions for cars and vans and electric vehicle battery requirements,” stated Sigrid de Vries, Director General of the ACEA. “But make no mistake: Euro 7 still tightens exhaust emissions and test procedures. In particular, truck and bus manufacturers will face significantly more stringent rules, as they already face an uphill climb to meet rapidly approaching 2030 decarbonisation targets in the absence of vital enabling conditions.”

The emission standards come at a critical moment as Europe’s vehicle industry shifts away from the combustion engine to electric powertrains. It also faces tougher competition from China and the US, increased costs of doing business in Europe, and a patchwork regulatory framework that inevitably undermines Europe’s competitiveness, states ACEA.

To date, vehicle emissions have been slashed by 90% between the first Euro standard and the first version of Euro 6. In Euro 7, policy makers must do more to replace older, more polluting vehicles on roads with newer models equipped with the most advanced emission technology. This is not only about incentives to boost market uptake of newer vehicles, but also about establishing a holistic regulatory framework that keeps mobility affordable for all Europeans.

Decision makers will still need to decide on key elements through secondary legislation, and several important inconsistencies in the text still need to be corrected in an appropriate way. The ACEA added that it will continue working to ensure a realistic and proportionate Euro 7 that balances environmental concerns and competitiveness.

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