June 8, 2023

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Italy and seven countries against EU rules on Euro7: “unrealistic”

The European Commission’s proposal for a Euro 7 regulation is not “realistic” and risks negative impacts on investments in zero emissions technologies and thus “slowing the transition towards climate neutrality”. This was confirmed by Italy and seven other countries in the bloc (Bulgaria, Czechia, France, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary), who sent an “informal paper” to the current EU presidency explaining their main common interests. The eight governments oppose “any new tailpipe emissions rules (including new testing requirements or new emissions limits) for cars and trucks because these new rules would divert industrial investment away from achieving the net-zero transition path” set out in the recently approved CO2. emissions regulation.

Countries opposed to the new rules argue they should focus on “improving emissions performance that will remain relevant after 2035,” when bans on the sale of non-electric cars kick in. In their view, in short, forcing too drastic changes, despite the fact that combustion cars will still be outright banned in 12 years’ time, is a waste of time and resources. For this reason, they argue, more attention should be focused on emissions such as “wear-related particulate matter” emissions from brakes and tyres, stressing that “it should nevertheless reflect the current development of measurement methods at the UN level, including the application of the relevant monitoring phase to United Nations level and taking into account the characteristics of electric vehicles.

In addition to introducing new limits on exhaust emissions, the eight governments are vying for Euro 7 application dates which “should be extended” from those indicated in the current proposal, which envisages entry into force from 1 July 2025 for cars and trucks and 1 July 2027 for heavy vehicles. At least three years after the adoption of the entire package, including implementation measures. The eight governments also oppose new requirements for heavy vehicles, which they consider “too ambitious”. Responding to public criticism of the entire Euro 7 proposal, the signatories to the document argue that “a drastic reduction in ‘truck emissions’ limits would cause a significant diversion of resources from investments towards zero-emission technologies and, as a result, would slow the transition.” to climate neutrality.”

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“This will also lead to a significant increase in the prices of new vehicles,” continues the document, which estimates the expected air quality benefits of €7 as “significantly less than estimated in the Commission’s impact assessment.” On the subject of heavy vehicles, “consistency” is required between Euro 7 and other provisions on carbon dioxide reduction, in particular, “consideration of exempting city buses from provisions on compliance with emissions limits” exhaust gases. Finally, the eight countries criticize the fact that “The powers granted to the commission to adopt implementation measures are very broad and not clearly defined,” which has led to an “unpredictable” legal framework. Therefore, “these powers must be clearly defined,” the newspaper requests.

In addition to the main criticisms highlighted in the non-paper, the signatory governments listed eight other issues in the proposal that needed further clarification and discussion in the negotiations. Of these, countries cite requirements for tests in driving conditions that must be “statistically relevant” (“The proposed extended driving conditions relate to infrequent driving conditions, compliance with which would, however, require the introduction of additional technology,” the text states), argues that “distorted” driving during testing should be prohibited, that provisions for real-time on-vehicle emissions monitoring need to be further elaborated and clarified, and that exceeding thresholds should be clearly defined for monitored emissions and adequately reflect sensor tolerances in the evaluation methodology.