EU agrees on new emission limits for vehicles

STRASBOURG: Negotiators from the European Parliament and EU member states agreed on new emission limits for cars, buses and other vehicles, dubbed "Euro 7 standards," on Monday.

The new rules also introduce limit values for brake and tyre abrasion for the first time.

The revision of existing limits is based on a proposal by the European Commission to reduce substances emitted by vehicles that are harmful to the environment and health.

The agreed new limits are however less ambitious than the commission's original proposal.

For the first time, the European Union's 'Euro standards' for vehicle emissions will not only cover exhaust gases, like nitrogen oxides (NOx), but also other traffic pollutants, like ultrafine particles which are caused by tyre or brake wear.

This means that electric and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles will also be subject to the Euro 7 standards.

EU states and the European Parliament still have to officially approve the agreement, which is considered a formality.

According to parliament, the rules will apply to cars and vans 30 months after they come into force. Buses and lorries will be subject to them 48 months after that date.

The existing Euro 6 standards regulated the emission of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide (CO), particles, hydrocarbons and methane, as well as ammonia for lorries and buses.

According to the commission, air pollution leads to more than 300,000 premature deaths per year in the EU alone.

Studies by the European Environment Agency and the EU's Joint Research Centre show that road traffic was responsible for 39% of harmful NOx emissions - and 47% in urban areas - as well as 11% of total PM10 - or primary sub-10µm particulate matter - emissions in 2018.
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