The last EU emission standards for road vehicles?

The EU is currently in the process of setting new pollutant emission standards for light and heavy-duty vehicles. In a recent briefing document environmental group Transport & Environment (T&E) says that the future standards (informally called Euro 7/VII) give the EU the opportunity to eradicate pollution from road transport, regain technological and regulatory leadership, and align standards with its new “Zero Pollution Ambition” and the objective of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

While previous Euro standards have reduced emissions from new vehicles with combustion engines, these vehicles are still not clean when all pollutants or driving conditions are taken into account. T&E’s recommendations for the post-Euro 6/VI standard include that they should:

Be the last EU road vehicle emission standards, by setting emission limits at the strictest level globally, be fuel-neutral, apply to all internal combustion engines and define a clear roadmap to zero-pollution;

Regulate all pollutants that are harmful to public health and the environment, by including smaller particles, ammonia, NO₂ and others that are currently not regulated;

Improve testing, approval and certification of vehicles to make sure that emission limits apply under all possible driving conditions;

Ensure that emission limits are met throughout the lifetime of the vehicle.

According to T&E, the new standards must deliver zero-emission mobility as outlined in the European Green Deal by mapping out a clear pathway (in 5-year intervals, starting in 2025) towards only zero-emission new vehicle sales. All new cars and vans should emit zero pollution as well as zero CO₂ by 2035 at the latest, and all new heavy-duty vehicles by 2040.

Link to T&E briefing:

In this issue