The entire automotive sector is eagerly awaiting the decisions regarding Euro 7 regulations.
In this context, the Spanish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for “Ciudadanos”, Susana Solís, shares the same anticipation as the industry.
Today, the European Parliament will vote on the draft proposal for the regulation that limits pollutant emissions from new vehicles sold in Europe.
Specifically, the goal of this revised Euro 7 regulation proposal is to enable the industry to focus its investments on technologies that will endure until 2035, such as brakes, batteries, or tires.
Here, exclusively for Mobility Portal Europe, the Member of the European Parliament shares her perspective on how the process is unfolding:
What is the first challenge when discussing Euro 7?
Essentially, we started with the point that the proposal from the European Commission was unworkable.
Approving it was a challenge in itself due to the deadlines and requirements, both for passenger cars and heavy vehicles.
So, what goals did you set in your own document?
We sought to strike a balance between improved air quality, affordable mobility, and the stability of the European automotive industry.
For light vehicles, my position as a representative of the liberals is to maintain the Euro 6 test conditions to avoid additional investments in laboratories, adopting the Commission’s limits with a slight modification for vans, with an implementation period of 2 to 3 years.
And what about the heavy segments?
There, we aim to retain the Euro 7 test conditions while seeking a 60% reduction in emissions, setting a 4 to 5-year implementation period.
What about EV in the midst of all this?
The intention is to support durable technologies and avoid diverting investments toward obsolete technologies.
This regulation establishes battery durability, and, along with the Regulation on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (AFIR), it aims to enhance consumer confidence in EV and make the deployment of electric vehicles a reality in Europe.
It is crucial to ensure the deployment of charging points across the entire European territory, including the placement of public charging points in rural or depopulated areas.
Batteries also have a role in this Euro 7 proposal…
Certainly, for the first time, battery durability is being regulated.
To boost consumer confidence in electric vehicles, we aim to establish better battery performance: Euro 7 must be more demanding in the performance and durability of electric vehicle batteries.
But also, preserving 85% of their charge in the first five years and up to 75% (70% for vans) in the vehicle’s first decade of life.
Do you feel that Spanish support for the automotive and eMobility sector is enough?
In Spain, we have numerous factories producing small and hybrid models that would be at risk of closure with the Commission’s proposal.
That’s why it’s crucial for Spanish MEPs to defend our industry and the thousands of jobs it provides with an Euro 7 that includes realistic test dates and conditions.
We have already formed a majority where consensus, sought by us liberals, has been crucial. But it would be most convenient for Spanish socialists to join this support in the parliamentary vote.
What is Spain’s role in the parliament?
On September 25, the Council adopted its general orientation on the Commission’s proposal. Most states have expressed support for the text proposed by the Spanish Presidency of the Council.
Spain, in particular, takes a majority position and will not influence other states as it must maintain a neutral stance while holding the Presidency.
However, before assuming the Presidency, neither I nor many of my colleagues were clear about Spain’s position.
I have repeatedly called on the Government and the Ministry to adopt a clear position and move away from the ambiguity they had been maintaining.
Are there specific cases that demonstrate this?
The clearest example was the presentation of the letter against the Commission’s proposal, signed by countries such as France, Italy, or the Czech Republic, indicating that the continuity of many factories and, therefore, the entire sector was seriously at risk.
Despite its strong automotive industry, Spain did not sign.
Looking ahead to today’s votes, what do you expect to see?
Regarding the parliamentary position on Euro 7, our goal is to have the widest possible majority.
We want to reach a consensus between the liberal group, the European People’s Party, and the Conservatives for the vote in the environmental committee and in the Plenary.
I can’t predict the future or anticipate changes, but I hope that this consensus remains a possible reality.
And if there are changes?
I hope the final regulation doesn’t change much from what was adopted in Parliament, as we are aiming for a balance between citizens, industry, and the environment.
What is the parliamentary path that Euro 7 must follow?
The approval of Euro 7 is following the usual legislative process in European institutions.
The European Commission presented its initial proposal in November 2022, consolidating emission objectives for light and heavy motor vehicles in a single legal act, objectives that were previously regulated in different regulations.
Subsequently, we, the members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI), negotiated for months on the initial proposal to propose amendments to the text and vote on it in the environmental committee today and in the Plenary next month.
How has this process been experienced?
As a liberal group MEP, I have the honor and responsibility of being the only Spanish negotiator in Euro 7, and I can say that it has not been a straightforward process.
During the negotiations, diverse blocs have been formed, and my role has been to seek the broadest consensus possible among all, always taking into account the interests of the Spanish industry.