Last reviewed 9 March 2021

Transport operators are used to requirements that vehicles must be Euro VI emission standards compliant in order to enter towns and cities operating clean air zones - (see “London tightens Low Emission Zone standards for trucks, buses and coaches”).

Now comes news that the European Commission is beginning preparations for the introduction of the next stage: Euro 7 emission rules on cars and vans and Euro VII for heavy duty vehicles including trucks and buses.

With the European Green Deal, the Commission set out a new growth strategy that will aid the transition to, “a climate-neutral, resource-efficient, competitive and zero-pollution economy in Europe”.

To accelerate the shift to sustainable and smart mobility, transport should become considerably less polluting, especially in cities, it argues.

In this context, the Commission launched a public consultation to support the evaluation and a possible review of the current Euro 6/VI emission standards framework for cars, vans, lorries and buses.

Details of the consultation, which closed in November 2020, can be found — here.

The Commission is now considering the feedback it received before preparing draft legislation for consideration by the European Parliament and the EU Member States.

Transport & Environment (T&E), Europe's leading clean transport campaign group, told the consultation that the future standards give the EU, “the opportunity to eradicate pollution from road transport and regain technological and regulatory leadership” on the way to its objective of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.

However, a German group representing the mechanical engineering industry, the VDMA, said: “The planned obligation that new vehicles in Europe must be practically emission-free from 2025 onwards would be an ecological, economic and technological aberration.”

Tighter regulations are already being considered for 2025, it went on, although experts believe they would be ecologically and economically misguided as they would imply the abrupt end of the combustion engine.