why T&E is wrong about the Euro 7 proposals – POLITICO
The Euro 7 strategy concerns new cars and many believe that this regulation holds the key to reducing the impact of transport on air quality. However, air quality in cities concerns the entire fleet of cars, trucks, buses, building heating systems, the industrial context and transboundary air pollution. To achieve the best results, we need to determine how Euro 7 can contribute and make the best improvements in this context.
To improve the air in European cities, it is obvious that adding an electric vehicle (EV) or a new Euro 7 ICE car will not be enough. To make things better, we need to retire an older Euro 2/3/4/5 or older Euro 6 vehicle. These older vehicles can have emission levels between 10x and 1000x of today’s Euro 6d cars.
A strategy for earlier elimination of ICE
The Transport & Environment (T&E) proposal (September 2021) appears to be to set a near impossible and probably very expensive Euro 7 standard, which would certainly have driven up the price of new cars, and also discouraged car manufacturers even from making them and to sell them. This would have had the undesirable effect of slowing fleet turnover and extending the life of some of the older vehicles – the exact vehicles we should be aiming to phase out and replace with efficient and affordable cars. Let’s face reality, T&Es proposal and contribution to the AGVES group (September 2021) was probably a strategy to get an early ICE ban, by making Euro 7 hybrid vehicles cheaper out of reach for citizens. Such a target would be dishonest and could slow progress on air quality.
The most sensible strategy for faster progress in air quality.
The Euro 7 proposal recently published by the Commission will, in our view, maintain affordable vehicles (ICE – hybrids), which in turn will maintain the current level of fleet rotation towards new cars with the latest emissions standards. This is the most sensible strategy for faster air quality improvement.
In 2018, Concawe and Ricardo conducted a study to determine actual and expected actual driving emissions (RDE) of vehicles (Euro 6b, Euro 6c, Euro 6dtemp and Euro 6d vehicles). These were used as input data in a study conducted by Concawe with Aeris to model the impact of fleet rotation of Euro 6d cars or electric vehicles on air quality in the EU27+ Kingdom. United, with a particular focus on 10 European cities.
The conclusion was that “by 2030, Euro 6d vehicles will be as effective as electric vehicles in helping cities improve compliance with air quality limit values”.
Acceleration of air quality improvement in cities depends on fleet rotation speed
So the strategy should focus on how quickly we get to that state, and only once that state is reached, how to optimize each new vehicle. The scientific report (Concawe Report 8/18) is available here and the RDE study supporting Ricardo here, both on the Concawe website.
To accelerate progress, it is also necessary to take steps to support the retirement of these older vehicles:
- Scrapping of the oldest European level; helping owners buy affordable and affordable Euro 6d, future Euro 7 or EV vehicles.
- Identification and removal of vehicles that have been (illegally or even legally) tampered with or poorly maintained, resulting in a drastic increase in emissions.
We recommend that policy makers at EU and member country level consider implementing measures to achieve this. For us, it is simply strange that NGOs are largely silent on these issues and do not contribute to the development of effective policies here.
Socially responsible and economically efficient measures to help with the removal of old vehicles.
As we focus on the goal of improving air quality in our cities, we believe responsible stakeholders, including T&E, should publicly distance themselves from headlines such as « Nearly 100 million cars very polluting could appear ». [The Guardian 21/10/2022] because there is no basis for this assertion. T&E should also withdraw its current Euro 7 proposal and instead consider measures that can help phase out genuinely and demonstrably more polluting older vehicles in a socially responsible and economically efficient way.
We call on the European Parliament and the Council to maintain the objective of an affordable Euro 7 standard, as proposed by the Commission, for the benefit of citizens who can afford new efficient ICE-based vehicles, so that a faster rate of improvement in air quality in our cities can be achieved.