New Euro 7 emissions rule could kill combustion engines as early as 2026

Updated Jun 01, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

You might have to bid your favorite cars goodbye sooner than you think.  

The buzz among carmakers surrounding electrification is practically a death knell for combustion engine technology, which is widely expected to bow out of the industry by 2050. However, the proposed adoption of more stringent Euro 7 emissions standards means that petroleum-powered mills could exit as early as the middle of this decade.


Proposed Euro 7 regulations aim to make tailpipe emissions the lowest in the world

Legislators are still finalizing the details surrounding Euro 7 emissions protocols, which are set to be enforced in 2025. But the Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles (ACEA, European Automobile Manufacturers Association), the main lobbying and standards group representing 16 major automakers in Europe, is pushing back against the proposal.

Smart car electric

The European Union wants to floor the pedal on electrification

Autocar cites ACEA’s December 2020 position paper as saying that Euro 7 regulations could effectively kill combustion engines altogether. “Emission limit scenarios presented by CLOVE (Consortium for ultra Low Vehicle Emissions), 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,” the group said.

Car engine

Future combustion engines may be required to fit a supercatalyst to achieve zero emissions

Among the points under consideration is the use of a multi-stage supercatalyst for gasoline-powered vehicles, comprising a heated electric catalyst, two 1.0-liter three-way catalyst, a 2.0-liter particulate filter, and an ammonia slip catalyst. This will enable combustion vehicles to achieve target emissions of 0.1 to 0.3 g/km CO2 and 0.030 NOx emissions, the lowest in the world. Regulators are requiring that these numbers be consistent under all driving environments, regardless of road and weather conditions as well as vehicle payload.     


The stricter regulations could price even small cars out of reach of most buyers

ACEA says that such a feature would be extremely difficult, if not downright impossible, to fit into existing vehicle platforms without driving car prices out of reach of most customers. It adds that maintaining the figures in every scenario is unrealistic. For instance, a fully loaded car aggressively going uphill at a high altitude and surrounded by low ambient temperature will inevitably emit more pollutants under existing technology.     


Companies delivering heavy goods might have to remove their existing fleets

The group says that the existing emissions reduction roadmap, which stipulates carbon-neutrality by 2050, already minimizes the impact of the proposed Euro 7 emissions standards. Car industry insiders believe that the tighter regulations are meant to push EU customers toward electric vehicles by making combustion-powered cars prohibitively expensive or unable to comply with emissions requirements, apart from forcing bulk-carrier industries to shift to an all-electric fleet.      

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Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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