EU proposes new standards to cut emissions from last generation of combustion engines

The Euro 7 standards will ensure cars, vans, lorries and buses are much cleaner and tackle emissions from tailpipes as well as from brakes and tyres

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The European Commission is proposing new standards to reduce pollutant emissions from the last generation of combustion engines.

The Euro 7 emission standards will ensure cars, vans, lorries and buses are much cleaner and tackle emissions from tailpipes as well as from brakes and tyres.

They replace and simplify previously separate emission rules for cars and vans (Euro 6) and lorries and buses (Euro VI), bringing emission limits for all motor vehicles under a single set of rules.

The new rules are fuel and technology neural, placing the same limits regardless of whether the vehicle uses petrol, diesel, electric drivetrains or alternative fuels.

According to the Commission, they will help to better control emissions of air pollutants from all new vehicles, update and tighten the limits of pollutant emissions, regulate emissions from brakes and tyres, ensure new cars stay cleaner for longer, support the deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) and make full use of digital possibilities.

They include emission limits for previously unregulated pollutants, such as nitrous oxide emissions from heavy duty vehicles, additional limits for particulate emissions from brakes and rules on microplastic emissions from tyres and regulating the durability of batteries installed in cars and vans to increase consumer confidence in EVs.

Road transport, the largest source of air pollution in cities, was estimated to cause around 70,000 premature deaths in the EU-28 in 2018.

In 2035, Euro 7 is expected to lower total NOx emissions from cars and vans by 35% compared to Euro 6 and by 56% compared to Euro VI from buses and lorries.

In addition, particles from the tailpipe are expected to be lowered by 13% from cars and vans and 39% from buses and lorries, while particles from the brakes of a car are to be lowered by 27%.

The rules would apply to the final wave of petrol and diesel cars that will enter the market before new emission rules kick in in 2035, when the polluting vehicles are banned.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age – said: “We cannot accept a society where exposure to air pollution is responsible for more than 300,000 premature deaths in the EU-27 alone annually. The new rules will help us breathe safer air and help the sector to become greener and more resilient. We need to stick to the objective of the European Green Deal and become a standard setter globally.”