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European automakers request 6-month postponement of new Euro standards due to COVID-19

Mike Manley, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the current European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) president, has sent a letter to Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission, requesting a 6-month postponement of the application dates of key upcoming EU standards, including:

  • Euro 6d TEMP for heavy vans and ambulances (currently 1 September 2020);

  • Euro 6d ISC‐FCM for passenger cars and light vans (currently 1 January 2021);

  • Euro VI Step E for trucks; and

  • the general safety regulation (clusters A and B).

The ACEA represents the 16 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers. The industry is seeking the extension to avoid having to stockpile newly-produced vehicles that have not sold due to COVID-19-related market conditions or to stopping production.

… the shutdown of production and sales imposed by Member States to fight COVID‐19 has caused a significant build‐up of stocks at manufacturers, importers and dealers. These vehicles meet current emission standards but not the new standards that will enter into force in the coming months. In total, we estimate that 600,000 produced vehicles will not meet Euro 6d ISC‐FCM while nearly 40,000 vehicles will not meet Euro 6d TEMP. As sales had to be stopped to fight Covid‐19, it is not clear when these vehicles will be sold.

In addition to the vehicles that were built already, manufacturers are gradually re‐starting production to maintain European jobs. The grim reality is that many manufacturers have not been able to have their vehicles certified for meeting the new emission standards due to the disruption in the type approval process caused by government restrictions. We estimate that about 2,100 emission system type approvals are still pending for vehicles already meeting Euro 6d ISC‐FCM. Obtaining these, together with the subsequent whole vehicle type approval, will easily take 6 months in our view.

Without postponement of the application dates, manufacturers will face a choice between stockpiling newly produced vehicles until the type approval process is completed and stopping (or, better, not re‐starting) production of the vehicles concerned. It is clear the second option will have negative implications for workers, both at vehicle manufacturers and at suppliers.

—ACEA letter

Manley points out that the Chinese government recently postponed the entry into force of the new particle number limit values for light‐duty vehicles in the China 6 emissions legislation by 6 months for exactly the same reasons. The Japanese government decided to postpone the date to switch from emissions and CO2 tested on cycle JC‐08 to WLTP for existing models by three months.

While we accept that pollutant emissions are a sensitive political matter, we would like to emphasize that the proposed postponement will have no impact whatsoever on the emission level of the vehicles concerned or on air quality. In many cases, it will just mean vehicles will not be equipped with a fuel consumption meter.

—ACEA letter


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