In late 2022, the European Commission announced new regulations regarding emissions – Euro 7. These measures aimed to introduce highly stringent standards, primarily affecting vehicles with diesel engines and, most notably, impacting transport companies. Over the next decade, potential diversification solutions for diesel semi-trucks could involve hydrogen or biofuel, with a lesser emphasis on electric options.
However, pragmatism prevailed in Europe in November 2023, considering both the automotive industry and thousands of logistics firms. Without road transport, Europe would regress by decades.
Dariusz Cegielski, CEO of Trans Polonia, emphasizes the potential significant increase in transportation service costs, affecting various aspects of life, including the prices of essential food products. Cegielski advocates for evolutionary changes rather than revolutionary ones, citing responsibility towards partners and reliability in service delivery.
Contrary to the original plan for Euro 7 to take effect in mid-2027, it will now be implemented in two stages – in 2030 and 2031. Initially covering vehicles up to 3.5 tons, it will extend to those above 3.5 tons in July of the following year.
This decision is welcomed by industry stakeholders as it allows for a more measured fleet modernization approach. Euro 7 not only updates emission limits but also introduces regulations to reduce tire and brake emissions and enhance battery durability. These far-reaching changes align with the company’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives.
Euro 7 entails more stringent on-road emissions tests for vehicles over 3.5 tons, a departure from laboratory tests. The standard also sets limits for brake and tire dust, a novel requirement. Additionally, it covers automotive batteries, specifying their minimum wear resistance. The proposed regulations will limit formaldehyde (HCHO) and nitrous oxide (N2O) content in heavy-duty vehicle emissions, similar to light-duty vehicles. It will also establish a limit for fine particulate matter as small as PM10. Key to compliance is reducing emission levels in all new vehicles throughout their lifespan under various operating conditions. Achieving this requires a shift in engine technologies and emission control systems.
While the European Commission estimates a minimum cost increase of around €3,000 per truck with the Euro 7 standard, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) presents a more pessimistic figure of an average cost of €11,700 per heavy-duty vehicle. The industry awaits further developments as the timeline for implementation draws near.