After the industry and experts from some universities, politicians are now also critical of the stricter regulations, which will effectively mean the end of combustion engines from 2025, but will hardly have any effect on air quality.
As previously reported, the Euro 7 standard planned for 2025 will mandate much stricter emissions rules for internal combustion vehicles. Experts had previously cautioned that the rules are so strict that the industry could hardly comply with the emission values, which would be tantamount to a ban on new combustion vehicles. And even if the technology were to meet the limits, they would probably have a hardly noticeable effect on improving air quality, since combustion engines of the latest Euro 6 standard are already very clean. Exhaust gases only contribute a small part to emissions. Meanwhile, non-exhaust emissions are a much bigger problem.
The Minister President of Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil, has now also expressed his criticism of the new emissions standard. Lower Saxony is a shareholder in the VW Group and Weil sits on the supervisory board there as part of his office. He fears that the automotive industry would have to invest too much in order to meet the political requirements: "The internal combustion engine is in any case on the home straight. If additional investments in the billions were now necessary with the Euro 7 standard for a very manageable contribution to air quality, structural change would be in danger of becoming structural disruption," Weil said.
Instead of investing in combustion engines, Weil sees a more important starting point in battery cell production. To further reduce CO2 emissions from transport, batteries would have to become even more efficient and cleaner. This would also help the automotive industry to secure jobs and remain competitive in international comparison.
Since Euro Standard 7 does so little to improve air quality, it also does not bode well for low emission zones in Germany and the EU. If the air does not improve further, there is a threat of further tightening of regulations, and above all the introduction of the unpopular diesel driving bans. Should the industry live up to the new Euro standard, the new, clean cars will soon be seen as the standard. Then Euro5 and perhaps eventually Euro6 vehicles could be locked out of the environmental zones more and more often.
The final decision on the new Euro standard will be made next year. Of course, you can read all the updates in our blog. All information on the current rules of the low emission zones in Germany and Europe can be found in our Green-Zones app.