Expected by 2025, the Euro 7 standard should give manufacturers a hard time, signaling the end of the era of gasoline and diesel for some models. A regulation that promises to be a new springboard for the electric car.
To sell their vehicles in Europe, manufacturers have had to comply for nearly 30 years with the “Euro” anti-pollution standard which imposes limits for different types of pollutants: NOx (nitrogen oxides) but also carbon monoxide (CO ), hydrocarbons and fine particles (PM10, PM2.5, etc.).
If you are not familiar with the current regulations, the first one landed in 1991. We are currently at Euro6d, the third version of Euro 6, which arrived in 2014.
A taste of the rules
The future Euro 7 standard will logically reduce the tolerated levels for each pollutant. For the moment, nothing has been voted on by the EU. Discussions started this spring. It is only in the first quarter of 2021 that the EU will have to decide and vote, for application around 2025.
However, the media Bild shared an internal study which shares the bases of the Euro 7 Standard. According to the data communicated, the envisaged limits would be 30 mg / km in NOx (Euro6: 60 in gasoline and 80 in diesel) and 100 in 300 mg / km in CO (vs 500 and 1000).
Also, it is the certification cycle that should get complicated. Outside the laboratory, the RDE (Real Drive Emissions) cycle should be checked between temperatures of -10 ° C to 40 ° C with altitudes up to 2,000 meters. Another novelty, each vehicle must be able to hold these figures 15 years or 240,000 kilometers, accessories included.
Another bad news for manufacturers: other pollutants could supplement the standards, including ammonia (NH3). Less widely, there are also ultra-fine particles (PM <0.1), nitrous oxide (N2O) and even particles emitted by the brakes.
The VDA is already contesting
If the Euro 7 standard should not appear until 2025, manufacturers are already very concerned about its implementation, because it is a new mountain to overcome for the development of new engines.
According to the German Manufacturers Association VDA (equivalent to CCFA in France), this is a threat to the automotive industry. Its chairman, Hildegard Müller even claims to the Bild that it sounds like a “ban on combustion engines from 2025” and that respecting the limits in the RDE cycle “is technically impossible”. At the same time, he emphasizes that “the problem is not the heat engine, but the fuel”.
While the deadline seems far away, work is already well under way for many manufacturers. At Renault, engineers are already at work and have told us that the new generation of petrol unit should comply with the Euro 7 standard.
For the customer, the arrival of this new standard is the promise of lower average consumption. Savings for the wallet but also for health since these new vehicles will emit fewer substances harmful to health over the entire life of the vehicle.
Unable to comply with the demanding rules, many thermal cars could disappear from the catalog of manufacturers. Already, some have anticipated by abandoning diesel. Given the complexity of these systems and the investment costs, engines will become scarce to incorporate more models and different brands.
Another compulsory passage is electrification. For some models, light hybridizations may not be enough. It will either be necessary to switch to the rechargeable hybrid, making it possible to divide its theoretical emissions by 3 or 4, or to adopt 100% electric.
One constraint among others
For manufacturers, the arrival of this standard is in addition to the one already underway concerning the reduction of CO2 emissions. To this can be added the national measures put in place by the government, such as the ecological penalty in France, and traffic restriction zones which are multiplying everywhere in Europe.
The arrival of the Euro 7 standard should thus serve as a new springboard for the electric car. In 2030, it could even become the majority in Europe. Here again, some countries are putting additional pressure on manufacturers by announcing the end of combustion cars. This will be the case from 2025 in Norway and from 2030 in the United Kingdom.