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The EURO 7 standard? What changes will it introduce?

8 August 2022

The time go by, and the EURO 7 standard still remains a mystery. It has raised many
questions and doubts – as well as suggestions, which might not necessarily be true. So
far, it is unknown what the principles of the new EURO 7 emission standard will be, or
when it will be enforced.

When will the EURO 7 standard be enforced?

The European Commission is planning that EURO 7 is going to be applied for cars
registered since 2025 – probably since 1st January, at least this is what could be concluded
on the basis of the dates of introducing the previous regulations. However, for the cars to be
able to meet the updated requirements of the EURO standard, the automotive industry has to
be informed in advance.

If we are to believe the announcements, the final requirements will have been
formulated by 20 July 2022. The latest reports suggest, however, that the new standard will
not be as strict as the automotive industry worried it would be. After the first announcements
were released, it has been stated straightforward that – meeting the requirements is technically
unattainable, the end of the gasoline engines has been announced, and the organisations from
various European countries have sounded the alarm.

it is difficult to estimate to what extent it was influenced by protests, and how well the
European Commission estimated its plans concerning the combustion engines. The promotion
of the electric engines over the combustion ones is no secret, but “the green deal” in transport
requires time, and the newly introduced emission standards cannot be unattainable. The Union
decision-makers seem to realise about this – which is definitely good news.
The EURO standards – European vehicle emission standards – have been functioning in the
European Union since the beginning of the 90s of the 20th century, although their prototype
had been formulated even earlier. In the emission standards guideline, we explain what
changes were introduced in the subsequently released regulations.

 

What plans have been connected to the new standard so far?

Some time ago, Advisory Group on Vehicle Emission Standards has developed an extensive
report which has electrified the industry. The organisation experts suggested impose
extremely strict requirements on the manufacturers, which would be the foundations of the
new EURO 7 emission standard.

They proposed i.a.:

  • reducing the nitrogen oxides emission limit to 0.03 g/km or even 0.01 g/km (cars
    meeting the requirements of the EUROR 6 standard could emit 0.06 g/km of nitrogen oxides NOx when equipped with the combustion engines fueled with gasoline, or 0.08
    g/km of nitrogen oxides if equipped with the diesel engines)
  • tightening of the requirements concerning the nitrogen oxides emission to 0.3 or 0.1 g/km (from the current value of 1 g/km, for gasoline cars, and 0.5 g/km for diesel cars)
  • limiting the average carbon dioxide (CO2) emission by all models offered by individual manufacturers to 30 g/km (for comparison – currently the accepted average emission remains on the level of 95 g/km, depending mainly on the weight of cars of a given brand the requirements might be slightly higher or lower).

Expected changes in the emission analysis procedure

These are not all of the revelations in the regulations which the new vehicle would be
supposed to meet. The European Union would also want changes in the RDE (Real Driving
Emissions) testing procedure introduced in the subsequent editions of the EURO 6
standard.

The officials would like to expand the range of conditions in which the cars would have to
realise the emission limitation principles. A change extending the period of time of vehicle
exploitation included in the regulations would also enter into force.

So far, the manufacturers of new vehicles must follow the regulations for 160.000 kilometers
driven by the a given car. Introducing the regulations in the proposed form would increase
this range to 15 years or 240.000 kilometers, which would often embrace practically the entire
vehicle exploitation period.

Another “surprise”, which EURO 7 would introduce, would be resigning from the tolerance
in the PEMS measurements (measurement of emission in the real conditions). So far, the
tolerance has reached 25-30 mg. The new law would reduce it to 0.

 

What changes might happen after introducing the EURO 7 standard?

All the above elements look very good from the point of view of the environment. But what does the introduction of the EURO 7 standard mean for the manufacturers? The automotive industry – especially the German representatives – stated that such strict standards for the combustion engines are unattainable. It would have to man the end of the vehicles equipped with the gasoline and diesel engines. It would be a bit easier for the hybrids, but in their case as well meeting the requirements would be debatable and dependent on e.g. the driving conditions.

In response to the doubts, the European Commission has confirmed that EURO 7 is under
preparation – confirming that its requirements will be ambitious but realistic. And that’s a
good sign for sure.

What then can be expected from the EURO 7 emission standard?

Finding a compromise between the environment protection and the driving comfort is quite a
challenge. For sure, the new regulations will impact the cars sold in car dealerships in the EU
and the EEA – but to what extent? It remains unknown. We have to wait with the evaluation
until more details concerning EURO 7 are announced.

It’s probable that the permitted emission will be reduced, but perhaps it won’t be a factor for
another car “revolution”. It has been noticed, that the emission of the vehicles already
present in the market which meet the EURO 6d requirements in many cases have much
lower emission than it is required.

Therefore, certain emission corrections for individual emission components can be expected,
but these would resemble the EURO 6d update rather than an entire revolution. Probably,
greater changes are going to be applied to the test procedures, in order to improve the
verification of how the requirements are followed. How it all is going to look like in reality –
it remains an open question.

 

EURO 7 and the combustion engines

The introduction of the EURO 7 standard was supposed to – according to many – herald the
end of the combustion engines. The latest statement of the European Union is that the
combustion engine – whether gasoline or diesel – will still remain in use for some time.
So, there’s no need to worry about it at the moment.

Climate-neutral mobility until 2050 is one of the goals of the union climate policy. Is it technically attainable – regardless of what the automotive industry declares currently?

If yes, then probably not due to the top-down rejection of the combustion engines, but rather due to developing an alternative – creating such conditions which will encourage the buyers to purchase gradually more often the electric vehicles. The improvement of the infrastructure, encouragement for the drivers, solutions which increase the practicality of the cars fueled with renewable energy sources – this kind of changes are actually impact the road reality and contribute to the reduction of emission.

 

The EURO 7 standard and the clean transport zone

One of the ways of improving the air quality, especially in the city centres, is creating the so-
called clean transport zones. They introduce certain entry limits for cars equipped with the
combustion engines. In other words – a car which does not meet specific emission regulations
is not allowed into a clean transport zone.

Then what does it mean in terms of the EURO 7 standard?

So far… nothing. Although it might sound quite blatantly, it is actually too early to discuss EURO 7 in the context of the clean transport zones. The cars meeting the requirements of the EURO 4 standard will be allowed to enter these zones until 2025. And until 2030 – the cars meeting the requirements of EURO 5. In terms of the currently applied EURO 6d – until 2035. Therefore, from the point of view of the cars meeting the requirements of the future EURO 7 standard, the perspective is quite distant.

Can this be the end of the combustion engines?

The end of the combustion engines is of course a matter of time – most probably, however, it will NOT come as a result of the EURO 7 standard. The cars with the combustion engines are still going to be used on the roads for many years – sold both on the primary, as well as the secondary market – quite naturally yielding to the electric vehicles, which will be the predominant offer of the manufacturers in some time. The automotive industry will be forced to follow the new regulations and work in compliance with the more and more rigid requirements, but the introduction of the EURO 7standard will not be the “nail in the coffin”, which the European Commission has confirmed in its announcements. The media sensations and increasing the tension sometimes comes in handy, helping the enforcement of certain concessions. Nevertheless, the reports, which are still quite general, about what the principles of the future EURO standard – especially EURO 7 – should not a reason to panic.

Summary
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The time go by, and the EURO 7 standard still remains a mystery. It has raised many questions and doubts – as well as suggestions, which might not necessarily be true.
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autoDNA
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