“Technologically hardly feasible” – car manufacturers protest against emissions standards


It is estimated that particulate matter and nitrogen oxide pollution from road traffic caused around 70,000 premature deaths in 2018 in the EU countries and Great Britain.

(Photo: dpa)

Brussels The EU Commission has presented its proposal for a new emission standard, which is expected to come into force from 2025. It regulates how many harmful substances newly registered cars and trucks are allowed to emit.

While environmentalists criticize the draft as too weak, the manufacturers see themselves facing a difficult task. “The development and approval of a corresponding drive with a lead time of only one year after the expected conclusion of the delegated legal acts is simply not feasible,” said Hildegard Müller, President of the Association of Automobile Manufacturers (VDA), with a view to the passenger car limit values. The background is that the EU Commission wants to submit detailed regulations later.

At the same time, the effect of the planned law is being questioned. “The proposal focuses on extreme driving conditions that have little relation to reality,” said bmw-Boss Oliver Zipse, who is also President of the European automobile association Acea. The background to this is that, according to the proposal, many limit values ​​will remain the same, but will also have to be complied with in the future, for example at very low temperatures. According to Zipse, the environmental benefits are “very limited” while the costs per vehicle have risen sharply.

The Commission wants to take a bigger step with trucks. There, the fine dust emissions should be 39 percent lower than in the previously applicable Euro 6 standard. In order to develop the necessary technology, you have to withdraw substantial engineering and financial resources from the development of electric drives, said Volvo boss Martin Lundstedt, who is responsible for commercial vehicles at Acea.

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The EU Commission, on the other hand, emphasizes that the emission reductions could be achieved using existing technology. The effects on consumers are small: a car will increase in price by 90 to 150 euros. A bus or truck will be around 2600 euros more expensive. According to the recitals for the law, the proposal has also been revised again with a view to the “current geopolitical and economic situation”.

The Commission also wants to make specifications for the abrasion of brakes and tires

In the future, the Commission also wants to regulate emissions, i.e. abrasion from tires and brakes. This is one of the reasons why the new regulation will have significance beyond the year 2035. Then no new passenger cars with internal combustion engines should be allowed to be registered. A Commission official did not want to rule out that a Euro 8 standard will also be proposed in the future to further reduce emissions from brakes and tyres.

In addition, there should be a special label for cars that can automatically reduce their emissions within environmental zones by switching to electric drive.

The next step is to introduce the proposal into the European legislative process. The EU Parliament and the Member States can make changes within this framework. politician from CDU and FDP complained that climate-friendly synthetic fuels (e-fuels) were not mentioned in the text. Green MP Michael Bloss accused the commission of “buckling” in front of the car lobby.

If the legislators do not make any comprehensive amendments, the emissions standard will at least be less complex. The proposal now presented has 99 pages. The applicable law on the Euro 6 standard extends over 860 pages. According to a Commission official, car companies can save billions of euros by simplifying bureaucratic requirements.

More: The Euro 7 standard is intended to reduce exhaust emissions from brake pads

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