Only a few weeks have passed since ACEA, the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers, once again sounded the alarm about Europe and the continuing delay in deciding on the rules of the Euro 7 standards which must be taken 5 avril 2022.
The wait will be even longer: the European Commission has announced that the final rules will be announced in July. This is a new postponement for the emissions standard intended to replace the current Euro 6 standard and which, at least initially, should have had clearly defined rules by the end of 2021.
And if for us motorists this continuous postponement of the decision may seem like a “simple” delay, for those who build the cars it represents a major problem. The Euro 7 standard must come into force in 2025 (or at the earliest), which means manufacturers will have less than two and a half years to comply.
To justify this new delay, the European Commission said that for the first time in its history it is regulating cars, vans and trucks at the same time. A heavy task, the repercussions of which fall on manufacturers and consumers.
A question of funding
The development of new engines requires significant investments, both in terms of money and time, but if the timetable is inexorably shortening, there can be only one solution: not to invest and leave the combustion engines completely side, focusing only on electricity, especially since the end of thermal engines is scheduled for 2035.
The problem remains, however, also because, as the VDA (the German association of the automotive industry) pointed out some time ago, the first versions of the Euro 7 standard forbade effectively internal combustion engines. These strict emissions regulations were later softened by a new draft in April 2021. But that is still not enough.
In the meantime, however, some manufacturers, such as Nissan, have already announced that they will stop developing internal combustion engines, while BMW plans to follow the same path, but from 2030. This is a repression that goes beyond what happened with the adoption of the Euro 6 standardsdue to which many manufacturers have abandoned the segment A (the city car segment) because it is no longer profitable due to the high development costs of new engines.
Reaction of associations
“We are sorry for this significant delay”AGVES (Advisory Group on Vehicle Emission Standards) commented in an open letter to EU Free Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, adding: “This is very worrying for our European emissions control industry, as it will imply further delays in the process of adopting the Euro 7 standard, including its possible implementation date”.
The environmental association Transport & Environment also criticizes the decision, although for different reasons, stating (as reported by Automotive News): “With the preparatory work completed, T&E sees no justification for such a delay, other than the automotive industry pressure“.
The association continues by asking that the date of April 5 be maintained. “This will increase the chances that the new Euro 7/VII rules will come into force by 2025, ensuring that they apply for at least a decade of the ban on internal combustion engines and at least one cycle of vehicle production, thereby reducing the burden of new regulations on automakers.”