“Euro 7 will be the killer of utility cars”


“Euro 7 will be the killer of utility cars”
Written by aquitodovale

According to Thomas Schäfer, CEO of the Volkswagen brand, the new emissions legislation is a “disappointment”. And the risk of growth in price lists is real

Gianluigi Giannetti

– Las Vegas (USA)

The electric car remains the goal, the right and exciting choice, however destined to coexist with a wrong and disappointing one, the new Euro 7 anti-pollution legislation for combustion engines, in force from 2025 and which will bring about environmental protection much lower than expected. Thomas Schäfer, CEO of the Volkswagen brand chooses to meet the press on the occasion of the Consumer Electronic Show 2023 in Las Vegas which saw the debut of the new ID.7, a global electric sedan destined to arrive in Europe, China and the United States by the end of the year , with a horizon of 700 km of autonomy. Volkswagen is speeding towards the goal of 10 new zero-emission cars by 2026, but Thomas Schäfer is also a mechanical engineer used to evaluating the scenario, which in Europe is contradictory: “I am very disappointed with the European Commission’s proposal on the new legislation Euro7 could have been a great opportunity to contribute to decarbonisation in the rationalization of emissions, but it risks being totally wasted and, indeed, creating unexpected damage”.

Euro 7 was initially judged to be very “soft”, in order to keep even small-sized cars with engines aimed at the very large public on sale. It is not so?

“It’s a pity from my point of view because the initial request formulated by the car companies was much stronger, that is to go much further in reducing emissions, with more stringent limits on polluting agents of all kinds. The proposal presented by the Commission instead manages to be less effective and at the same time with very complicated technical objectives for a manufacturing company to achieve, all of this in a short time that does not fit well with an organized way of planning the work of technicians and factories”.

“The Commission could reserve the right to change the homologation cycles of cars unilaterally every year. Instead, the car needs stability and programming, with the new rules we risk the exact opposite, to the detriment of customers. It is a fact that cars will be significantly more expensive because of Euro 7. Not only a fact of homologation of the engines, but also due to the new levies on the reduction of pollution by the brake pads, or the new IT security standards of the vehicle A package that has a better depreciable cost in larger cars, but which will be the killer of small cars with traditional engines”.

Will the car for the general public change direction?

“We are working with great attention on the Small Bev project, the new generation of small electric cars that will arrive with the Volkswagen brand, but also Skoda and Cupra. Three lines in parallel, a program that I have very close to my heart as head of Brand Group Volume. We will see them from 2025, an appointment confirmed despite the increase in raw material costs and international complications, because here electric vehicles will enter the full market.Our effort is to arrive at a starting price of 25,000 euros , aiming decisively to go further down”.

Is Volkswagen shifting gears?

“Sure! And we’re doing our job more efficiently. For some months we’ve been working on a rationalization program involving the software, which, as you know, is the very soul of electric cars for on-board energy management, engine operation up to the update services.The further development of our successful Meb platform, which will become Meb+, with more range, faster charging and improved performance is the result of these reflections”.

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