Several automakers in Europe, including Stellantis, Volkswagen, Skoda, and others, have expressed strong criticism towards the upcoming Euro 7 emissions regulations. These regulations, initially considered too strict by the industry, have faced opposition from various member countries and automakers alike. However, there seems to be some positive developments for the critics, as European Union ministers have recently agreed on new and diluted rules.
The ministers, after facing resistance from automakers and several member countries such as France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, have decided not to implement significant changes to the existing Euro 6 standards for cars and vans. While this decision is not yet final, it marks a step towards a compromise. Spain, currently holding the rotating EU presidency, presented a compromise text that gained the agreement of the Council of the European Union, composed of EU ministers. The final form of the law will still need to be discussed and signed by the Council, the European Parliament, and the European Commission.
Spain’s minister for industry, trade, and tourism, Hector Gomez Hernandez, commented on the agreement, stating that they believe the proposal achieves broad support and strikes a balance in investment costs for the manufacturing brands, while also improving the environmental benefits of the regulation. Sigrid de Vries, the director of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, added that the member states’ position represents an improvement on the European Commission’s initial Euro 7 proposal, which was considered disproportionately strict and with limited environmental benefits. De Vries also noted that the Council’s focus on continuing effective Euro 6 tests is a sensible approach. However, the Euro 7 regulations, compared to the existing standards, would still require significant engineering and testing efforts, particularly for new cars, vans, and heavy-duty vehicles.
Ironically, European automakers have argued that the initially proposed stricter emissions standards could actually hinder the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Renault CEO Luca de Meo recently expressed concerns that the Euro 7 regulations, in their earlier form, could divert companies’ attention and investment away from EVs. Likewise, Klaus Zellmer, the head of Skoda, admitted that meeting the stricter emissions standards could be impossible for building small cars.
In conclusion, while European automakers have been highly critical of the strict Euro 7 emissions regulations, there have been some positive developments with the recent agreement by European Union ministers on new and less stringent rules. The decision not to make significant changes to the existing Euro 6 standards for cars and vans represents a compromise amidst opposition from automakers and several member countries. However, the final form of the law still requires discussion and approval from the Council, the European Parliament, and the European Commission. The initially proposed regulations were seen as disproportionate and could potentially hinder the adoption of electric vehicles, according to industry executives.