Senate, Senate meeting – illustrative photo
Prague – Senators will probably join the reservations of MPs and the government regarding the newly prepared Euro 7 emission standard. Among other things, the Euro 7 standard is supposed to limit emissions of nitrogen oxides and solid particles released into the air, which, according to the commission, is supposed to prevent a number of related premature deaths. However, the two senate committees agreed that if the proposal is not fundamentally revised, it could fundamentally threaten the future of the automotive industry in the Czech Republic and cause serious economic and social impacts. Transport Minister Martin Kupka (ODS) has already said that the standard is unacceptable for the Czech Republic. The Senate is to consider the draft of the relevant European regulation on Wednesday. The European Commission should also receive his opinion.
If the rules are approved by member states and the European Parliament, they should apply to new passenger cars from mid-2025, two years later for trucks. The aim of the standard is also to harmonize the limits for petrol and diesel cars. Vehicles will have to comply with it for twice as long as the current standards, and in addition to exhausts, it will also apply to brakes and tires. In addition, the cars should have sensors that will allow emissions to be checked at any time.
The Senate Economic Committee and the EU Affairs Committee unanimously supported the government's framework position, which contains a number of reservations. The committees expressed concern that the proposed requirements could make some models more expensive and less available. As a result, they would limit the contribution of the Euro 7 standard to improving air quality and reducing emissions from road transport in the EU, as the high purchase price of vehicles may discourage consumers from purchasing new vehicles and thus slow down fleet renewal. The European Commission estimates that the standard will affect the price of new cars in the order of thousands of crowns, manufacturers are talking about tens of thousands.
The Senate Committee on the EU recommends postponing the effective date of the new standard by at least four years, the Committee on the Economy suggested a postponement of at least two years. According to them, the current deadlines do not reflect the development time of the new engine and do not offer car manufacturers enough time to adapt to the new requirements. Also, according to Minister Kupka's earlier statement, the standard should give individual manufacturers enough time to have available technologies at all, such as low-emission brakes or sensors monitoring the amount of emissions while driving.
The Commission estimates that in compared to the current standard, Euro 7 should ensure a reduction in emissions of nitrogen oxides by 35 percent by 2035, and by 13 percent in solid particles. In the case of trucks and buses, 56 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions and 39 percent of solid particles are to be accounted for.
According to car companies, this will make new cars more expensive by tens of thousands of crowns. For example, smaller Škoda Auto models such as Scala, Kamiq or Fabia, however, according to the words of Škoda external relations director Michal Kadera last week, they will reach a price level at which they will be unsellable to customers. While the Škoda model range now starts at the level of 300,000 crowns, according to him, in order to be manufacturable according to the new conditions, the price would increase to 450,000 to 500,000 crowns. “There will be no customers for these cars,” he warned.