March 4. 2024. 6:16

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Slovak transport minister supports postponing Euro 7


The proposed Euro 7 emission norm, which intends to reduce nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions that are emitted by vehicles, must be postponed as it cannot realistically be applied by 2025, Transport Minister Andrej Doležal has said.

For now “it’s only a proposal of the European Commission”, Doležal told EURACTIV Slovakia, adding that “we don’t know the details of the implementing decree.”

“We are not against the norm, but let’s be realistic. Trilogues will conclude in 2024. If it’s agreed by Parliament and Council, carmakers will have one year at most to implement the new standards in production. Before, there must be research and tests,” he added. Activists believe cars produced under Euro 7 norm will roam European roads long after 2035.

Doležal also questioned the logic of the proposed norm in the context of a planned de facto ban of new combustion engine cars after 2035, and warned of high costs for carmakers.

“I carefully listen to the voices of carmakers and they are worried. It will mean dramatically higher production expenditures for them and may even lead to abandoning certain segments of automobiles,” Doležal explained.

“We would force carmakers to invest in the types of engines that may be abandoned after 2035,” he said, pointing out that the position is from the ministry and that it still needs to be approved by the National Council.

Slovakia, therefore, leans closer towards the position of the Czech Republic, which goes as far as completely opposing the norm.

“Our position on the current form of the standard is clearly negative. We are aware of the threat to car production for cars, trucks and buses, as well as the significant threat to public access to cars. We will appeal for the necessary modification of the standard,” Czech Transport Minister Martin Kupka has said.

When asked for his opinion on new CO2 emissions standards for cars and light-duty vehicles, which includes the de facto ban, Doležal said that Germany demanding an exemption for ICE cars running on e-fuels after 2035 could set “an interesting precedent” for European politics.

According to Doležal, opening a “discussion about e-fuels” would be a positive step.

“However, I also expect a national discussion about the infrastructure and whether we can have it ready by 2035,” Doležal said, adding that “we shouldn’t rule out technology just because we don’t know it yet”.

(Michal Hudec | EURACTIV.sk)