Euro 7 and electric cars: what will happen in Europe?

Euro 7 and electric cars: what will happen in Europe?

Euro 7 and electric cars

In recent months, various information and statements have leaked regarding the development and production plans of the main European manufacturers and the related wishes of the European Union regarding emissions. The countries of the Old Continent have asked the Commission to take a clear position on the matter and plan a roadmap capable of defining, in more detail, the future steps and the related marketing of endothermic cars.

Although at the beginning of the negotiations had not yet reached a precise date, a good window for the stop to the sale will be 2035. Beyond that date, the Old Continent will have to devote itself exclusively to electric mobility; this is an extremely ambitious goal also due to the fact that Brussels has not yet defined a framework of valid alternatives to reach this goal. Starting from 2035 we could see the divorce between combustion engine and car? Difficult to say especially if we consider the advent of the new Euro 7 standard, more than discussed in the last period thanks to a series of restrictions that are too severe for manufacturers. Initially rejected by some Member States, such as France, Euro 7 has recently been "softened" to allow for wider application. Let's be clear, compared to the current Euro 6 this is in any case an important leap for manufacturers who will decide to continue producing (also) endothermic solutions: the economic and engineering effort should not be underestimated.

The situation is , in any case, still the subject of intense negotiations between European officials and the various representatives of the member countries; some results have already been achieved and it is very likely that the Euro 7 will enter into force only in 2027 and not in 2026 as initially assumed.

What does the new Euro 7 require?

The new revision foresees an increase, compared to the original project, to 30 milligrams per kilometer traveled as a limit for nitrogen oxide emissions for cars and light vehicles. The first proposal required a value of 10 milligrams per kilometer traveled: an almost impossible value for producers to reach and which would have led to a premature departure of all endothermic engines.

The updated solution provides for equal treatment between diesel and petrol, with a new calculation method. The original idea predicted that the limit values ​​found in the road tests concerned all driving conditions without any kind of tolerance, such as cold starts or short stretches. The compromise, on the other hand, requires a clear homologation cycle: a real “path” with a series of tolerances.

The alternatives

The Brussels plan and the related modification of the Euro 7 specifications do not, however, change the future goal of the "Fit for 55", which effectively establishes the departure of the engine to burst. Within the sector, dozens of car manufacturers have now decided to anticipate the transition and embrace electric mobility "in advance". In short: sooner or later we will switch to electric and at this rate it will be sooner than later.

The biggest problem, however, concerns the path chosen by Europe and the related "imposed" approach; it is no coincidence that Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, defined the electric transition as a "brutal imposition from above". A sort of imposition of politics, of "strong powers", thus confirming the fact that the automotive industry has "lost" its ability to make itself heard. While Tavares is unbalanced in this regard with a series of strong statements, Toyota, always at the forefront of the electric, has specified that it wants to take alternative paths such as, for example, hydrogen.

Federicovecchio. com Toyota is of course not the only one, the houses have been clear: we need a holistic approach, that is, one that takes into account more technologies. If, at the moment, we can choose between gasoline, diesel, LPG, methane and all the related electric variants, a wide choice is needed also in the future. Synthetic fuels could play a key role here, which could exploit the current infrastructures without requiring particular additional efforts as the electric would do with the problem relating to the columns.

Also known as synfuel or e- fuel, these are fuels obtained by mixing hydrogen (preferably green, ie produced with renewable energy) and carbon dioxide captured from the environment. Recently, some manufacturers such as Porsche have insisted a lot on the subject by also starting a pilot project in Chile in collaboration with Siemens Energy. The first large-scale production plant will be built in South America even if the timing is not yet clear.

Porsche is just one of the manufacturers who has shown interest in the subject, recently also Bentley and Mazda have declared that they want to test alternative fuels and thus offer a "multi-solution" for their vehicle range.

The manufacturers' plans

As anticipated, many manufacturers have not caught unprepared and waiting for the stop of 2035, they have already moved to start production lines specifically dedicated to the electric sector: from engines to chassis, from batteries to charging systems. Over the past few months we have witnessed a development on several fronts as we await the arrival, on a global scale, of further electrical proposals. In recent weeks, a lot of information has been shared regarding major brands such as Volkswagen Group, Stellantis, Nissan, Toyota and of course luxury brands such as Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini. The Euro 7 homologation cycle will accompany us only for a period, beyond a certain date it will be possible to buy only electric and hydrogen cars.

Audi, a brand of the Volkswagen Group, will follow a route in stages starting from 2026; in that year the manufacturer will switch to exclusively electric models and in 2033 the production of internal combustion engines will be stopped. It is likely that the stop only concerns Europe and that instead it will continue in other markets, such as the Chinese one.

BMW has not yet provided a precise roadmap regarding the definitive reset; by 2030, 50% of its sales will be "green" and that by 2023 there will be 13 electric and 12 plug-in hybrids on the list.

We know that the first of the Prancing Horse brand will be unveiled in 2025 real electric. On the other hand, no information on the industrial plan that will be unveiled, most likely at Capital Markets Day in 2022.

Ford, for its part, has specified that by 2026 100% of the cars will be on tap. Different speech for commercial vehicles that will switch to electric by 2030.

Honda aims to become almost completely carbon neutral in 2030; by 2022, so next year, all models will have at least one electrified variant. Hydrogen solutions are also expected, a technology so far approached only with Clarity Fuel Cell.

Hyundai and Kia, the two manufacturers plan to have a series of electric vehicles as early as 2025, completely abandoning endothermic in 2035 . Also in this case, a hydrogen solution is expected; it is certainly not new if we consider the presence of Nexo on the market. Jaguar Land Rover recently announced the "Reimagine" plan that will lead it to be carbon neutral by 2039: a distant date no doubt, but by 2030 there will be numerous electrical solutions. In the future also a hydrogen project, perhaps already on the road next year: we do not know which segment or brand it will belong to, perhaps a large SUV branded Jaguar.

The manufacturer from Sant'Agata Bolognese, Lamborghini , has already embraced a holistic approach to supporting the environment; while the hybrid variants will arrive between 2023 and 2024, the first electric will arrive only in 2025. It is not clear, yet, when the brand will switch entirely to electric.

Mazda, by 2030 all models in the house will have some form of electrification, even the sportiest MX-5. Mazda, like many others, has expressed a clear interest in hydrogen that could come in combination with the famous rotary engine.

Mercedes, on the other hand, has specified that by 2022 there will be 10 electric and 130 electrified versions: in 2030, 50% of sales will be exclusively electric. The manufacturer also intends to apply a strict policy to heavy transport with both electric and battery-powered solutions. The transition will also involve the AMG division which, already today, provides hybrid solutions.

Nissan's plans are not yet fully understood and for now it is known that three new cars will arrive by the beginning of 2024. L 'goal is to sell at least 1 million electrified cars worldwide and 50% in Europe alone.

The Stuttgart brand, Porsche, has specified that the historic and iconic 911 will still remain unchanged for a few year, to the delight of true enthusiasts, while the remaining models will undergo a gradual conversion to electric. Taycan will soon be joined by a new all-electric solution expected at the next (and imminent) Munich Auto Show.

French manufacturer Renault (with Dacia, Alpine and Lada) plans to unveil 10 electric models by 2025; the Alpine sports brand will become exclusively electric, like Lotus, and three new models are expected.

The Stellantis Group plans to launch 10 electrified models this year, bringing the total to 39, and all future ones will surely have a electrified variant. The new strategy foresees electric models based on the new eVMP platform starting from 2023. With Saft-Total, the production of batteries will also be started by 2030. While Peugeot will switch to electric by 2025, at 100%, Fiat will become electric only between 2025 and 2030. Toyota, six new electric Toyota models will be available by 2025 on the dedicated e-TNGA platform. There are also two hydrogen proposals, such as the new Mirai and a still unpublished model. The company will only be carbon neutral by 2050.

After announcing the goal of selling 70% of electric models by 2030, Volkswagen has set a stop to diesel and petrol by 2035. The date concerns only Europe, for America and China the divorce will come later.

Volvo, which has always been at the forefront of green vehicles, has also announced that by 2030, 100% of the brand will be electric. The manufacturer also specified that in the future there will be fewer and fewer physical showrooms available, as the brand prefers to rely heavily on online.

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