Euro 7 emissions regulations are set to begin in 2025, but there's growing opposition to the strict regulations that could see them delayed or revised. It's not specific lobby groups or automakers raising concerns this time, but a sizeable portion of European Union countries that believe the limits are unrealistic.
In this case, sizable portion means eight countries, accounting for almost a third of the EU's 27 members. Reuters reports France, Italy Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic signed a joint paper opposing "any new exhaust emission rules" as well as new testing requirements for cars and vans. The letter was sent to other EU countries, and it may not be just a symbolic gesture. According to Reuters, these eight countries would have sufficient voting power to block the proposal.
This isn't the first time we've heard opposition to the forthcoming rules that would make already tight regulations even tighter. In February, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares stated flat-out that he thought the regs for internal combustion engines were "useless" and would have a negative impact on the industry, while making no difference for the environment. His argument further stated it would be costly for automakers, diverting funds from zero-emission development into new engines that will only be available for a few years. This would lead to higher prices for ICE vehicles, placing an extra burden on buyers.
Volkswagen offered a similar argument against Euro 7 standards barely two months ago. VW Passenger Cars CEO Thomas Schafer pointed out the shift towards electrification, with a vast majority of new VW production slated to be electric by 2030. That would leave just a handful of years for which redesigned engines would be needed. This could raise prices on small cars like VW Polo or Skoda Fabia to a point where buyers can't afford them. In theory, anyway.
This all leads to the full internal combustion engine ban coming for Europe in 2035, which also isn't without controversy. Germany headed another collection of countries – many included in this latest group – opposing the ban. The move led to the EU looking deeper into the realm of synthetic fuels, possibly allowing new combustion engines to live on beyond 2035.