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A brief sigh of relief for internal combustion engines

After the new Euro 7 standard was already seen as the de facto end of the internal combustion engine, it could now be made much more industry-friendly after all. Current measurements by the ADAC also give the car industry reason to rejoice. Due to the tightening of regulations in the European environmental zones, it is nevertheless likely that the internal combustion engine will be phased out in the foreseeable future.

From 2025, the new Euro standard for emissions from vehicles with combustion engines is to come. In addition to the significantly lower limits for particulate matter and nitrogen oxide, the methods for determining emissions have also been in the sights of critics. While in the current Euro Standard 6 the measurements are taken in a clearly defined test cycle under standard conditions, the limit values in Euro Standard 7 should be complied with under all possible conditions. This includes extreme temperatures, starting with a trailer on a hill and the entire life cycle of the vehicle.

According to the latest discussions of the "Advisory Group on Vehicle Emission Standards" (AGVES) on a study commissioned by the EU Commission, Euro Standard 7 is now to be made significantly more industry-friendly. For example, the measurement procedures could be weakened. Although the decision on the Euro standard is far from being taken, Hildegard Müller, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) praised the new developments: "The plans presented today for the new Euro 7 standard for passenger cars show that the EU Commission has accepted the limits of what is technically feasible and has said goodbye to unattainable targets."

Latest measurements by the ADAC also give reason to rejoice in the automotive industry. The nitrogen oxide limit value of Euro Standard 6 is 80 mg/km. The ADAC examined 17 of the best-selling diesel vehicles in Europe and found that the vehicles are already well below the limit value. Measurements of a further 107 vehicle types confirm this trend. Under normal conditions, emissions averaged 52 mg/km. Even in the motorway cycle, emissions of 60 mg/km are still well below the maximum permitted values.  Stricter limits, as envisaged in Euro Standard 7, should therefore be quite achievable.

Nevertheless, European citizens will have to say goodbye to the combustion engine in the long run. The ever stricter rules in environmental zones and a potential tightening of air quality limits, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, will mean that fewer and fewer combustion cars are likely to be on the road in cities. Some countries, such as the Netherlands, have already set a complete ban on internal combustion vehicles, at least for some types of vehicles. The trend in the automotive industry towards e-cars will also continue.

Even with Euro Standard 7, the internal combustion engine is therefore a discontinued model. You can see where you can still drive in with your combustion engine at present and in the future in our Green-Zones app.