After significant delays throughout 2022, the European Commission (EC) published its initial Euro 7 emissions standard in November, which some noted was a relatively low ambition update on the prior Euro 6/VI air pollution limits. The text did, however, include new restrictions on brake and tyre particles.
In December 2023, the EC provisionally agreed a revision that Euro 6 tailpipe emissions limits would be retained unaltered for cars and vans in Euro 7, although limits for trucks and buses would still be lower than Euro VI. The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) stated the change was welcome amid the “significant technical and investment challenges” of industry decarbonisation. Conversely, climate-focused NGO Transport & Environment criticised it as an act of “car lobbying” and “greenwashing”.
With the revised agreement still to be voted on by the European Parliament, further changes are not impossible. But what could the latest update mean for Europe’s decarbonisation timeline, and will Euro 7 still be—as the EC previously intimated—the final vehicle emissions standard published by the EU?