Rules On Pollution And Safety Can Prove Costly – And More Are On The Way

Euro7 plan eased on emissions, but new standards for brakes and tyres.

New regulations on car emissions and safety are introduced with increasing regulatory and severity.

Carmakers have to comply, of course, but argue the increased costs of implementing the likes of environmental measures mean ever-increasing prices to the consumer.

The same goes for safety elements in new cars, with addition items made mandatory at regular intervals.

Some of those elements can cost a lot and can push up the price of a new car quite significantly.

Especially when local taxes are applied to the individual extra-cost items.

Diesel remains a prime target in efforts to crack down on emissions. Photo Getty

It remains one of the great hidden penalties on vehicle safety and really deserves to be highlighted more.

Many have spoken/written about it and industry sources have long complained, but as is so often the case, they have to grin and bear it as part and parcel of the process. But it does seem unfair on the seller and buyer.

Anyway, we are currently coming to the end of Euro6 standards and there has been much lobbying and counterclaim between automakers and those who, specifically, want harmful emissions slashed even more for Euro7 standards. Diesel, unsurprisingly, remains a key target.

A key meeting of the European Commission is to be held tomorrow. And it has been revealed there will be good news for drivers but not-so-good news from a health perspective.

It appears the intense lobbying by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has managed to water down the more severe elements of the new package.

An agreement made by the EU’s 27 member states in September means proposals to slash nitrogen dioxide emissions (mostly diesel) will be largely unchanged.

Reports compiled as part of a special investigation highlight how the motor industry applied pressure in the lead-up to the deal that will be up for scrutiny by the Commission.

The reports, published by The Guardian, conducted with Voxeurop and supported by JournalismFund, the European Excellence Exchange in Journalism and Free Press Unlimited, suggest little will change on what was at one stage dubbed a “landmark” piece of legislation.

Experts say that watering down the legislation will cost an estimated €100bn in health and environmental costs.

And analysis provided by the Consortium for Ultra-Low Vehicle Emissions (Clove) says that half the savings from Euro7 will be lost by allowing excess nitrogen dioxide in diesel cars especially.

Clove, an expert consultative group advising the Commission, urged a significant cut in the amount of nitrogen dioxide that can be released and suggested tightening real driving conditions in the tests for new models.

There are some startling figures in the Clove analysis, however.

It estimates that the cost of producing cleaner vehicles would be in the region of €30bn.

That is a huge chunk of added cost, by any standards.

But it is small money when pitted against the expected €182bn benefit of lower road pollution if a full Euro7 suite of measures were pushed through.

Where it gets such a specific figure does not appear, but it is substantial to say the least.

However, the new standards will still make a bit of history in that, for the first time, reforms will extend to Euro7 that limit particulate emissions from tyres and brakes.

That will pose headaches for carmakers, who must resort to ever-expanding advances in tyre and brake technology to meet standards.

And it will, inevitably, lead to carmakers absorbing the cost, passing on to buyers or coming up with a combination of both in what is a hugely challenging time for automakers.

They are faced with the prospect of making internal combustion engines ever cleaner and devoting considerable amounts of money to do so, while at the same time spending unprecedented sums to develop and expand their electric and ‘electrified’ cars in the countdown to various deadlines set for electric-only new-car sales.

(Source – Irish Independent – Environment – Home / Life / Motoring – Eddie Cunningham – 08/11/2023)

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