The Euro 7 Strategy applies entirely to new cars, and many believe that this regulation is the key to reducing the impact of transport on air quality. However, air quality in cities is related to all car fleets, trucks, buses, building heating systems, industrial background and transboundary air pollution. To get the best results, we need to think about how Euro 7 can contribute and make the best improvements in this context.
To improve the air in European cities – it is clear that adding an electric vehicle (EV) or a new Euro 7 ICE car will not do it. To make things better, we need to get an old Euro 2/3/4/5 or early Euro 6 car. These older cars can have between 10x and 1000x the emission levels of today’s Euro 6d cars.
Strategy for waiver of previous ICE
The Transport and Environment (T&E) proposal (September 2021) looks set to set an almost impossible and probably very expensive Euro 7 standard, which would certainly raise the price of new cars, as well as discourage car manufacturers from even making and selling them. will deter. This could have the unintended effect of slowing fleet turnover and prolonging the life of some older vehicles – precisely because vehicles need to be phased out and replaced with efficient and cost-effective vehicles. Let’s face reality, T&E’s proposal and its inclusion in the AGVES group (September 2021) was probably a strategy to achieve an earlier ICE ban by making cheaper Euro 7 hybrid cars unavailable to citizens. Such a goal would be unrealistic and could slow air quality progress.
The smartest strategy for faster improvement in air quality.
The Euro 7 proposal recently published by the Commission will, in our view, keep affordable (ICE — hybrid) vehicles, which in turn will keep today’s fleet turnover to the latest emission standard for new cars. This is the smartest strategy for faster improvement in air quality.
In 2018, Concawe conducted a study with Ricardo to determine the actual and expected Real Driving Emissions (RDE) for vehicles (Euro 6b, Euro 6c, Euro 6dtemp and Euro 6d cars). These were used as input to model how a fleet cycle of Euro 6d cars, or EVs, affects air quality in the EU27+UK, with a focus on 10 European cities, in Concawe’s research with Aeris.
The conclusion was that “by 2030, Euro 6d vehicles will be as effective as EVs in improving compliance with urban Air Quality Limit Values.”
Accelerating air quality improvement in cities depends on the speed of fleet turnover
So the strategy should be about how quickly we can get there as a priority and only then how to optimize each new car. The scientific report (Concawe Report 8/18) is available here and the RDE study supported by Ricardo here, both from Concawe’s website.
Actions are also needed to support the phase-out of old vehicles to accelerate progress:
- Oldest Euro level scrap; support owners to purchase newer Euro 6d , future Euro 7 level cars or EVs at a more affordable price.
- Identifying and removing vehicles that have been (illegally or even legally) modified or poorly maintained resulting in a dramatic increase in emissions.
We recommend that policy makers at EU and Member State level consider implementing measures to achieve this. It is strange to us that NGOs are largely silent on these issues and do not contribute to the development of effective policies here.
Socially responsible and economically efficient measures to help the removal of old cars.
As we focus on improving air quality in our cities, we believe that responsible stakeholders, including T&E, should publicly distance themselves from headlines like “Nearly 100 million high-polluting cars could be seen.” [The Guardian 21/10/2022] because there is no basis for this claim. T&E should also withdraw its current proposal for Euro 7 and instead consider measures that could help phase out older, higher polluting vehicles in a socially responsible and cost-effective manner.
We call on the European Parliament and the Council, as proposed by the Commission, to maintain the objective of a favorable Euro 7 standard in the interest of citizens having access to new efficient ICE-based vehicles, which will enable a faster pace of development. We can achieve air quality in our cities.