Draft Work on Euro 7 Gets Pushback


European automakers and other industries are pushing back on a proposal that reportedly could bring a halt to sales of vehicles powered solely by internal combustion engines by 2025.

The objections concern the work of the Advisory Group on Vehicle Emissions Standards, which was responsible for developing recommendations for the European Commission about the content of Euro 7, the European Union’s next car and truck emissions standard. The advisory group recently submitted a report to the commission. It has not been made public, but two German news organizations, Bild and Sonntag, reported two weeks ago that it calls for cutting carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide levels so low that vehicles running solely on gasoline or diesel would not be able to meet them.

Several business groups have since criticized the direction of the standard, saying that the proposed limits are too ambitious and that the advisory group is showing a bias against internal combustion engines. Uniti, the Federal Association of Medium-sized Mineral Oil Companies, issued two statements last week, the first complaining that the advisory group’s proposal amounts to a ban on internal combustion engines and the second criticizing the European Commission’s vice president for not clearly explaining the commission’s intent.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, ACEA, joined four other industry groups Monday in issuing a statement asking the commission to reset the principles for its goals for Euro 7. The statement, co-signed by the European Association of Automobile Suppliers, FuelsEurope, the Natural Gas Vehicle Association and International Road Transportation, said the organizations endorse the goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 but that it should choose reachable targets and be based on science.

Referring to an Oct. 27 public meeting of the advisory group, the trade associations also said that governments should do more to help establish carbon trading markets, which should be part of the overall equation for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The discussion on Euro 7 must therefore not be used to force a specific design requirement,” the letter stated. “We interpret the direction of AGVES on 27 October as an intention to severely limit, or even cancel, the future role of the internal combustion engine in the European market.”

The Euro 7 standard is scheduled to be adopted by the fourth quarter of 2021. Officials working on the standard are trying to address worries that, although vehicular emissions have been dropping, they are not falling fast enough to help reverse climate change.

Emissions standards have affected the lubricants industry in several ways. Caps on emissions of nitrous oxides, sulfur compounds and soot have led to adoption of emissions control technologies that required engine oil formulators to limit their use of certain additives. Desires to reduce CO2 emissions were addressed through fuel economy mandates, which in turn led to a wide range of changes including lower-viscosity engines.

Now governments are beginning to require zero emission vehicles, which is resulting in growing sales of electric vehicles that use consume much less lubricants while also having some new lubricant performance demands.

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