But this won't stop the adoption of EVs by European automakers.
The European Union has today announced an agreement to water down the Euro 7 emissions legislation amid pushback from several automakers. The big changes are that cars and vans will not be subject to the stricter emissions, retaining Euro 6 testing and emissions limits, but the lower limits proposed for buses and heavy vehicles will go ahead.
Instead of Euro 7's focus being heavily on the engines powering cars, the legislation will instead aim to clamp down on emissions from other aspects of vehicles. These include particulate emissions from brakes and tires, and the continental government will also impose stricter regulations for battery durability in EVs and focus on the longevity of new cars to prevent unnecessary wastage.
The decision was taken after member countries France, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic objected to the original limits. Each of these countries has a strong automotive manufacturing component to its economy, and in a bid to sustain this without driving the adoption of EVs sourced from countries like China, the EU ministers, headed by Spain, agreed.
Automakers had previously spoken out against Euro 7 regulations, with some saying the focus on making current developmental models reach those targets would actually prevent them from focusing on building better EVs in time for a 2035 emissions ban across the continent. Ford Model e's Martin Sander put it succinctly, "We should not be diverting resources to yesterday's technology and invest in zero-emission instead."
Strangely, the move not to clamp down on tailpipe emissions could accelerate EV adoption for European automakers. Some manufacturers already have Euro 7-compliant engines, with the BMW inline-six found in a plethora of models like the 3 Series and 7 Series and the BMW mild-hybrid V8 used in the X7, XM, and more, all apparently compliant with the stricter regulations that were imposed.
Now that the ministers have agreed to the changes, the next step is negotiations with the European Parliament, which will occur as soon as the Parliament has decided upon its stance.
Many have come out to support this new stance, with Italy's Industry Minister Adolfo Urso praising the decision in its influence on Italian sports car brands. "The new regulation, at Italian request, makes it possible to safeguard the automotive supply chain of small-volume manufacturers, the high range typical of Italian production such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, symbols of 'Made in Italy' that produce around 50,000 cars a year," he said in a statement.
While Europe's emissions ban from 2035 is still a go, not every automaker will be forced to comply. Niche automakers who manufacture fewer than a thousand vehicles per year are exempt, which includes the likes of Bugatti, Koenigsegg, Pagani, Donkervoort, and more.
There's also a loophole to allow synthetic fuel, although a lack of support may curtail this avenue.