Euro 7 emissions standards are ‘unique opportunity to make air safer to breathe’
EU plans to cut pollution from road transport must not be derailed by claimed aggressive lobbying and “dirty tricks” from the European car industry.
The call comes from campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E), which says that the Euro 7 standards are a “unique opportunity to make air safer to breathe across Europe”.
The European Commission is due to draft Euro 7 proposals before the end of this year for cars, vans, buses and trucks, and is studying recommendations from independent emissions experts – decisions that T&E says will affect Europe’s air quality for a generation. It calculates that 95 million cars will be sold between 2025, when the standard comes into force, and 2035, when the EU proposes banning sales of cars and vans with internal combustion engines (ICE).
And these cars could be on the road until 2050 under current stats while sles of ICE trucks are expected to continue to the mid-2030s or later and many stay on the road for 12 years or more. The standards are also expected to be adopted by the UK.
Yet, in its new briefing paper, ‘The seven (dirty) air pollution tricks of the auto industry’, T&E warns that the European car industry is using aggressive lobbying and making unsubstantiated claims in an attempt to derail the new standards, such as claims that Euro 7 will kill off the internal combustion engine.
It points to European Commission estimates that adopting cleaner emissions technology to meet Euro 7 standards would add between €100 and €500 to the price of a car while for trucks, compliance would add less than 1% to the total cost of ownership over five years.
The paper warns: “The car industry has a long history of crying wolf on emission standards, claiming that compliance will be impossible, too expensive, or cripple sales, only to fully comply and take credit once the regulation enters into force.”
It also notes that the industry has “a long history of cheating regulation” and refers to the Dieselgate emissions scandal.
T&E is also calling for Euro 7 to close loopholes which allow vehicles to substantially exceed legal limits, for example during fast accelerations and short city trips. In cities, trucks can emit up to eight times the legal NOx limit because the official tests do not currently cover low-speed driving.
The paper says: “Euro 7 must ensure emissions limits apply under all driving conditions and throughout the lifetime of the vehicle to avoid shifting the problem of air pollution to less affluent member states.”
Anna Krajinska, emissions engineer with T&E, said: “Affordable technology can now deliver huge cuts in vehicle emissions for less than the price of a paint upgrade for an average car. This is a unique opportunity to make air safer to breathe across Europe.
“But instead of embracing innovation to clean up toxic emissions, the car industry is aggressively lobbying against tougher regulations and using what amounts to dirty tricks, including misleading claims that the costs will threaten jobs and business. Lawmakers should look past industry scaremongering and focus on doing what is right for the health of millions of citizens.”