What is the agreement for the new Euro 7 emissions standards? 

The European Parliament and the Council have now reached an agreement on updated regulations. The aim of the deal was tightening pollution standards for cars and trucks, with the focus primarily centered on curbing pollution stemming from brakes and tires.

In this provisional agreement, the emission limits and testing conditions for passenger cars and vans remained consistent with the existing Euro 6 standards, representing a departure from the more ambitious requirements initially proposed by the European Commission. 

The Commission had sought to enhance the permissible levels of exhaust pollution, including nitrogen oxides and particulates, emitted by petrol and diesel vehicles. 

However, this faced opposition from industry and conservative politicians, who both argued that redirecting funds toward changes in combustion engines would be more beneficial for the transition to electric mobility.

Critics also argued that the introduction of a more stringent Euro 7 standard would mean higher manufacturing costs for new vehicles, which would have an impact on European consumers. 

The European Parliament secured a concession from member states during negotiations, specifying that exhaust particles would be measured at the PN10 level rather than PN23. This issue had been a point of contention during talks on December 14th, leading to an impasse.

While exhaust emission standards for passenger cars and vans remain unchanged, there are tightened limits for trucks and buses in both laboratory settings (NOx limit of 200mg/kWh) and real driving conditions (NOx limit of 260 mg/kWh).

In addition to this, the new pollution standards address emissions during braking for the first time, along with microparticles released from tires – persistent sources of pollution even with the rise of electric mobility.

Euro 7 also introduces minimum performance requirements for battery durability in electric and hybrid cars. Batteries are expected to maintain 80% health after five years or 100,000 km driven, and 72% of their health up to eight years or 160,000 km driven. 

For vans, the figures are adjusted to 75% after five years or 100,000 km driven, and 67% performance up to eight years or 160,000 km driven. 

Alexandr Vondra, a Czech lawmaker with the ECR group and the Parliament’s chief negotiator on the file, commented,  “Through this deal, we have successfully struck a balance between environmental goals and the vital interests of manufacturers. The aim of the negotiations was to ensure the affordability of new smaller cars with internal combustion engines for domestic customers and at the same time enable the automotive industry to prepare for the expected overall transformation of the sector.”

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