European Commission — 2022-11-10
News from Brussels
On Thursday 10 November 2022, European Commission presented a proposal to reduce air pollution from new motor vehicles sold in the EU to meet the European Green Deal's zero-pollution ambition, while keeping vehicles affordable for consumers and promoting Europe's competitiveness.
Road transport is the largest source of air pollution in cities. The new Euro 7 standards will ensure cleaner vehicles on our roads and improved air quality, protecting the health of our citizens and the environment. Euro 7 standards and CO2 emission standards for vehicles work hand-in-hand to deliver air quality for citizens, as notably the increased uptake of electric vehicles also creates certain air quality benefits. The two sets of rules give the automotive supply chain a clear direction for reducing pollutant emissions, including using digital technologies.
The new Euro 7 emission standards will ensure that cars, vans, lorries and buses are much cleaner, in real driving conditions that better reflect the situation in cities where air pollution problems are largest, and for a much longer period than under current rules. The proposal tackles emissions from tailpipes as well as from brakes and tyres. It also contributes to achieving the new stricter air quality standards proposed by the Commission on 26 October 2022.
While CO2 emission rules will drive the deployment of zero-emission vehicles, it is important to ensure that all vehicles on our roads are much cleaner. In 2035, all cars and vans sold in the EU will have zero CO2-emissions. However, in 2050, more than 20% of cars and vans and more than half of the heavier vehicles in our streets are expected to continue to emit pollutants from the tailpipe. Battery electric vehicles also still cause pollution from brakes and microplastics from tyres.
Euro 7 rules will reduce all these emissions and keep vehicles affordable to consumers.
The new requirements based on the Euro 7 standards:
The proposal replaces and simplifies previously separate emission rules for cars and vans (Euro 6) and lorries and buses (Euro VI). The Euro 7 standards rules bring emission limits for all motor vehicles, i.e., cars, vans, buses and lorries under a single set of rules. The new rules are fuel- and technology-neutral, placing the same limits regardless of whether the vehicle uses petrol, diesel, electric drive-trains or alternative fuels. They will help to:
Ensure that new cars stay clean for longer: all vehicles will need to comply with the rules for a longer period than until now. Compliance for cars and vans will be checked until these vehicles reach 200,000 kilometres and 10 years of age. This doubles the durability requirements existing under Euro 6/VI rules (100,000 kilometres and 5 years of age). Similar increases will take place for buses and lorries.
The Commission's proposal will be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council in view of its adoption by the co-legislators.
Road transport is the largest source of air pollution in cities. In 2018, more than 39% of NOx and 10% of primary PM2.5 and PM10 emissions in the EU came from road transport. These percentages are much higher in cities, where transport is regularly the main contributor to air pollution. It is estimated that road transport caused about 70 000 premature deaths in the EU-28 in 2018.
In 2035, Euro 7 will lower total NOx emissions from cars and vans by 35% compared to Euro 6, and by 56% compared to Euro VI from buses and lorries. At the same time, particles from the tailpipe will be lowered by 13% from cars and vans, and 39% from buses and lorries, while particles from the brakes of a car will be lowered by 27%.
Following the Dieselgate scandal, the Commission has introduced new tests to measure emissions on the road (the RDE method) and increased the market surveillance powers of Member States and the Commission, in order to ensure that vehicles are as clean as expected by the Euro 6 norms.
The rules on pollutant emissions are complementary to the rules on CO2 emissions. The agreed target for 100% CO2 reduction by 2035 for cars and vans has been taken into account in this proposal. The Commission will review in the coming months the CO2 standards for lorries and buses.