New emis­si­ons stan­dard (Euro 7) about to be adopted

The legis­la­ti­ve pro­cess for Euro 7 is in its final phase

Sta­tus of the legis­la­ti­ve process

After seve­ral years of exten­si­ve deli­be­ra­ti­ons within the Euro­pean Uni­on (EU) on the pos­si­ble con­tent of Euro 7, a pro­vi­sio­nal agree­ment was rea­ched fol­lo­wing num­e­rous dis­cus­sions. The result of this agree­ment was published on 21 Decem­ber 2023 in the form of a “Pro­po­sal for a Regu­la­ti­on on type-approval of motor vehic­les and engi­nes and of sys­tems, com­pon­ents and sepa­ra­te tech­ni­cal units inten­ded for such vehic­les, with respect to their emis­si­ons and bat­tery dura­bi­li­ty (Euro 7)

The ent­ry into force of the Regu­la­ti­on is still sub­ject to for­mal appr­oval by the EU Coun­cil and the EU Par­lia­ment, which is howe­ver expec­ted to be gran­ted in the first quar­ter of 2024.

In terms of time­line, the cur­rent pro­po­sal pro­vi­des for Euro 7 to be appli­ed in stages after its ent­ry into force as fol­lows (Art. 20):

  • For pas­sen­ger cars and light-duty vehic­les (cate­go­ries M1 and N1) 
    • new type vehic­les after 30 months
    • new vehic­les after 42 months
  • For heavy-duty vehic­les and trai­lers (cate­go­ries M2, M3, N2, N3, O3 and O4) 
    • new type vehic­les after 48 months
    • new vehic­les after 60 months

Scope of appli­ca­ti­on and contents

Euro 7 is to be appli­ed regard­less of the type of dri­ve (petrol, die­sel, elec­tric or other fuels) and it is to regu­la­te the emis­si­ons stan­dards for pas­sen­ger cars and light-duty and heavy-duty vehic­les in a sin­gle Regu­la­ti­on for the first time.

The con­tent of the Euro 7 pro­po­sal includes the following:

  • Con­tra­ry to many expec­ta­ti­ons, the pre­vious pol­lutant limits and test con­di­ti­ons for pas­sen­ger cars and light-duty vehic­les have not been adjus­ted. Only the upper limit of the per­mis­si­ble par­tic­le dia­me­ter has been redu­ced (PN10 ins­tead of PN23).
  • The pol­lutant limits for heavy-duty vehic­les were redu­ced (NOx limit of 200 mg/kWh in the labo­ra­to­ry and 260 mg/kWh in real dri­ving con­di­ti­ons). Howe­ver, the test con­di­ti­ons were also retai­ned here.
  • For the first time, Euro 7 now also sets limits for par­ti­cu­la­te emis­si­ons from tyres and bra­kes. For pas­sen­ger cars and light-duty vehic­les, the­se are gene­ral­ly 7 mg/km and 3 mg/km for pure elec­tric vehic­les. For heavy-duty vehic­les, the limit is gene­ral­ly 11 mg/km and 5 mg/km for pure elec­tric vehicles.

Chan­ges to dura­bi­li­ty requirements

In addi­ti­on to the chan­ges to the emis­si­on values, the Euro 7 pro­po­sal pro­vi­des for the pre­vious­ly appli­ca­ble requi­re­ments regar­ding the limits for dura­ti­on which must be met (so-called dura­bi­li­ty) to be exten­ded. For pas­sen­ger cars and light-duty vehic­les, a dura­bi­li­ty of 200,000 kilo­me­t­res or 10 years must be met. For heavy-duty vehic­les, a dura­bi­li­ty of 375,000 kilo­me­t­res or 10 years for a total mass of less than 7.5 ton­nes and 875,000 kilo­me­t­res or 15 years for a total mass of more than 7.5 ton­nes must be met. In all cases, the occur­rence of the ear­lier event is decisive.

For the first time, the pro­po­sal pro­vi­des for dura­bi­li­ty requi­re­ments for the bat­te­ries of elec­tric and hybrid vehic­les. The fol­lo­wing limits are to app­ly to the sto­rage capa­ci­ty of tran­sac­tion bat­te­ries (also known as “trac­tion bat­te­ries”), for which the ear­lier of the two dates is decisive:

  • For pas­sen­ger cars (cate­go­ry M1): From the start of life 
    • to 100,000 kilo­me­t­res or 5 years the­re­af­ter, not less than 80 % and
    • to 160,000 kilo­me­t­res or 8 years the­re­af­ter, not less than 72 %.
  • For light-duty vehic­les (cate­go­ry N1): From the start of life 
    • to 100,000 kilo­me­t­res or 5 years the­re­af­ter, not less than 75 % and
    • to 160,000 kilo­me­t­res or 8 years the­re­af­ter, not less than 67 %.

Envi­ron­men­tal vehic­le pass­port and access to information

Fur­ther­mo­re, accor­ding to the pro­po­sal, an envi­ron­men­tal vehic­le pass­port is to be made available for each vehic­le, con­tai­ning infor­ma­ti­on on envi­ron­men­tal­ly rele­vant data at the time of regis­tra­ti­on (e.g. limits for pol­lut­ants, fuel and power con­sump­ti­on, elec­tric ran­ge, bat­tery life/durability).

In addi­ti­on to on-board dia­gno­stics (OBD) sys­tems, vehic­les should also be equip­ped with man­da­to­ry on-board moni­to­ring (OBM) sys­tems in future and allow users to access up-to-date vehic­le infor­ma­ti­on, such as on fuel con­sump­ti­on, bat­tery sta­tus and pol­lutant emis­si­ons, at any time via the vehic­le’s own systems.


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