PARIS -- A shifting timetable for the final proposal of the upcoming Euro 7 pollution regulations, now set for July, has raised concerns among European advocacy and industry obbying groups who say they and their members need guidance to plan for the change.
The EU standards limit tailpipe emissions of pollutants such as fine particulates, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide from gasoline and diesel cars and trucks, and would replace the existing Euro 6 regulations, in place since 2014. They are likely to come into force no earlier than 2025.
The issue is of vital importance for automakers that sell in Europe, as they shift over their lineups to electric and electrified vehicles from pure combustion engines to meet ever-tightening emissions standards. High compliance costs could make it unprofitable to build small combustion-engine cars.
Nissan said just last week that it would halt development of new internal combustion engines for Europe, citing expected costs of compliance with Euro 7.
When the Euro 7 rules were first proposed in draft form in October 2020, German industry group VDA and other automakers had said that the new limits would amount to an effective ban on combustion engines.
But the VDA softened its stance last April after a revised version was submitted by the Advisory Group on Vehicle Emission Standards (AGVES).
Final adoption of the proposed standards by the European Commission was first set for the fourth quarter of 2021. It was later moved to April 5, 2022, and at the end of January was moved back again to July 20. After adoption, a "co-decision" process will decide the final rules.
"It is important to ensure a comprehensive preparation of this proposal," a spokeswoman said to Automotive News Europe about the timetable changes on Tuesday. "Based on the analysis carried out so far, the Commission is now working to table a solid proposal by the end of July."
She added that the Euro 7 standards were the first time that the Commission will seek to regulate passenger cars, vans and commercial trucks at the same time.