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Euro 7 is the latest round of emissions regulations covering vans, pick-ups, trucks and cars. The European Union enforces car companies to meet strict emissions regulations covering a wide range of pollutants and particulates.

This latest Euro 7 round of regulations will be the toughest yet for vans to follow. The regulations do not cover electric vans.

The EU has published its proposals for the next generation of heavy vehicle emission standards. The document states its specific objectives as being to reduce complexity of the current Euro emission standards, provide up-to-date limits for all relevant air pollutants, and improve control of real-world emissions. The estimated effect on trucks is to reduce NOx by more than 80% from a 2018 baseline, together with the existing target for CO2 reduction.

One of the most significant aspects of the proposal is that the standards for cars and vans, and for heavy-duty vehicles, defined as Euro 7 and Euro VII respectively, will follow the same paths. Previously, heavy-duty vehicles have only been tested for engine emissions, while light-duty standards have encompassed the whole vehicle.

Why are the two sets of regulations?

The reason for having two separate regulations was that the emissions of heavy-duty vehicles were checked based on engine testing, while for light-duty vehicles the basis was whole vehicle testing. Since then, the proposal says “methodologies have been developed that allow testing of both light- and heavy-duty vehicles on the road. It is therefore no longer necessary to base type-approval on engine testing”.

While this is expected to be based on the vehicle energy consumption calculation tool, or VECTO, reference to it in the proposal is limited to a definition of what it is.

Another major change being proposed is to measure and limit particulate emissions from brakes and tyres, which are a growing problem as engine particulate emissions diminish. Of likely interest to purchasers of older battery electric trucks in the future is that battery state-of-health monitoring should be compulsory.

Read the offical Euro-7 emissions proposal from the EU

When will Euro 7 become mandatory?

The detail of the legislation is not likely to be seen until the second half of 2024, for implementation on trucks in 2027. The proposal has already received a lukewarm response from vehicle manufacturers’ body ACEA, though. Its CV Board chairperson, Volvo Group CEO Martin Lundstedt, said: “To comply with Euro VII, truck makers will have to move substantial engineering and financial resources from battery and fuel-cell electric vehicles back to the internal combustion engine. This will severely impact our transition to zero-emission vehicles. It is not good for the climate, not good for people’s health and not good for the industry.”

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