Euro emissions regs could speed up death of petrol cars

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Words: Matthew Hansen
1 Jun 2021

The clock appears to be well and truly ticking for internal combustion cars, particularly in Europe where new emissions rules are set to come into effect in the coming years.

Euro 7 emissions legislation, which is still in its proposal phase, is set to debut in 2025. Among the most notable changes is additional regulations around fitting cars with more catalysts and filters. These changes are so significant that some groups are labelling it an effective ICE ban.

As it stands, Euro 7 will require all petrol ICE vehicles to come with a heated electric catalyst, two 1.0-litre three-way catalysts, a 2.0-litre particulate filter, an ammonia slip catalyst, and an on-board monitoring system that ensures all cars comply with emissions regulations for at least 240,000km.

Speaking to Autocar UK, the European Automobile Association (ACEA) said that the change will likely prompt an effective ICE ban due to the huge price of developing and fitting these technologies to each car.

“The ACEA believes that the emission limit scenarios presented by Clove, coupled with the suggested new testing conditions, would in practice result in a situation very similar to a ban of vehicles powered by an internal combustion engine, including hybrid electric vehicles,” said a statement from the group.

“Technical solutions designed to meet, or intended to meet, the proposed extremely low limit values for NOx, combined with very stringent limitations of NO2 and NH3 [ammonia], will be very costly and massively complicated

“To drive the technology requirements to this point will severely limit the possibilities for CO2 and fuel consumption reduction and have significant uncertainties on durability and operating costs over the vehicle lifetime.”

Petrol and diesel cars are already scheduled to be phased out in several European countries, including the UK and Norway.

On top of this, a group of European Union member countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, and the Netherlands, recently agreed to lobby together for an end-date to be established for the sale of new pure internal combustion vehicles on the continent.

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