It has been there for months tug-of-war going on in the corridors of the highest European authorities. This tug-of-war (obviously not the only one) is between, on the one hand, the European authoritiesthat one strict Euro 7 standard want to impose, especially for the emission of fine particles, and on the other hand the car manufacturerswho want regulations that are as flexible as possible, given the large investments they are already making in electric cars.
The manufacturers claim that there not enough time remains for the development and application of new anti-pollution technologies, while this would also lead to a significant price increase (in some cases 3,000 euros). That would especially be the small cars which are often bought by the less privileged social categories. According to the manufacturers, a strict Euro 7 standard would… social inequality only increase within society.
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This would all be one smokescreen to avoid a drastic Euro 7 standard. According to the independent environmental organization Transport & Environment the manufacturers exaggerate, because they have already significantly increased the prices of small cars in recent months, much faster than inflation. “The five largest European car manufacturers have the prices of their cheapest models since 2019 with average 41 percent increased”, reports T&E. “This is almost double the cumulative inflation over this period.”
The NGO has investigated the prices and mentions some models, such as the Peugeot 208, Seat Ibiza or Renault Twingo, the price of which would have increased by 6,000 euros, which amounts to “an increase of 37 to 56 percent”. And that’s not all: models like the Mercedes A-Class and B-Class would have become more than 10,000 euros more expensive, another increase of about 38 percent.
Especially big wins
According to T&E, these price increases “enabled automakers to achieve a… record profit of 64 billion euros and pay out a record dividend of 27 billion this year.” Of course, this study by T&E did not just come out of the blue. On November 8 Europe is debating whether or not to relax the Euro 7 standard, again with manufacturers indicating that prices will inevitably rise if the standard is tightened. So this study is also a case of that lobbyingbut in the other direction.
T&E states that manufacturers are “fighting tooth and nail against technology that reduces pollution and saves lives and on and on Costs 200 euros per car”. As a reminder, 200 euros is the amount that Europe estimated as additional costs for introducing these new anti-pollution technologies. The manufacturers wave that amount away.
“If nothing is done to reverse this trend, more will happen before 2035 100 million polluting cars sold, which will continue to drive on European roads for decades to come. […] The European Parliament still has one last chance to put an end to this blatant injustice. It must act in the interests of all Europeans, not just the car industry,” T&E said. It remains to be seen whether European authorities will take a close look at this surprising study on price increases…
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