Euro 6 trucks

Impact of the Euro Regulation on Road Freight Transport in Spain

With 329 votes in favour, 230 against and 41 abstentions, the European Parliament has finally approved the proposal drafted weeks ago by the chamber’s Environment Committee on the reduction of emissions from road transport (cars, vans, trucks and buses), which represents a somewhat looser interpretation compared to the approaches adopted in 2022 by the European Commission for the new Euro 7 standard.

Euro 7, which is in the process of being implemented, will have a significant impact on our operations. Below is a breakdown of how this new regulation will affect our company and the industry in general.

Euro 7 Regulation: an overview

The Euro 7 regulation is the latest update in emission standards for heavy duty vehicles. Its main objective is to further reduce pollutant emissions and promote more environmentally sustainable vehicles.

It will update the current limits for exhaust emissions, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), solid particulates, carbon monoxide and ammonia, and introduce new measures to reduce emissions from tyres (microplastics) and brakes to help improve air quality, and also to increase battery reliability and durability: after 10 years, batteries must maintain at least 75% of their original capacity in the case of electric cars, and at least 70% in the case of electric vans.

As for implementation, compared to the Commission’s initial approach, which suggested July 2025 as the date of entry into force of the new Euro 7 standard, most MEPs now suggest a period of three years for passenger cars and four to five years for heavy-duty vehicles.

Impact on road freight transport

For heavy duty vehicles, trucks and buses, the standard lowers nitrogen oxide emissions somewhat compared to the Euro VI standard (300 mg/kWh in real driving conditions compared to the 90 mg/kWh proposed by the Commission). Particulate matter remains at the same levels as the Euro VI standard for this type of vehicle.

The future change suggests a number of practical modifications:

Investment in new technologies

Euro 7 regulations will require the adoption of cleaner and more efficient technologies. This implies a continuous upgrade of our vehicle fleet to meet the required standards.

Specifically, this year, 2023, we have added 10 trucks of the Man, Volvo, Scania, Daf and Iveco brands to our fleet. With the replacement, we are looking for a clear saving in consumption and an increase in reliability that reduces downtime in repair / maintenance tasks.

Maintenance and training

Euro 7 compliant vehicles may require more specialised maintenance. In addition, our drivers will need additional training to adapt to new technologies and driving practices.

Truck maintenance

Regulatory compliance

It will be essential to keep up to date and strictly comply with Euro 7 requirements. This involves proper management of documents, records and following deadlines for the implementation of necessary changes.

The Euro standards

These regulations began in 1992 with Euro 1 and progressively evolved in their requirements and scope, with Euro 6 being the most up to date.
Before diving into the new regulations, it is important to remember that Euro 6, in force since 2014, set more stringent standards for pollutant gas emissions.

Euro 6 limits

  • NOx: 0.4 mg/Kwh
  • CO: 1.5 mg/Kwh
  • HC: 0.13 mg/Kwh
  • Particulate Matter: 0.01 mg/Kwh

While the Euro 6 standard for heavy duty vehicles started in 2014, for cars and, light commercial vehicles it came into force in September 2015 and the limitations are different.

The Euro regulation stipulates that heavy-duty vehicles over 3,500 kg must reduce their exhaust emissions to certain specific parameters, a responsibility that falls mainly on vehicle manufacturers and oil refineries. Despite this, the regulation has an indirect impact on transport companies, which are obliged to have vehicles that comply with the standard.

Subsequent to Euro 6, new, even more restrictive regulations have been introduced. On 1 September 2019, Euro 6D for commercial vehicles came into force. This ensures that vehicles comply with the emission limits not only in test scenarios, but actually during regular use.

Our company has worked hard to meet these requirements, implementing advanced technologies and improving the efficiency of our vehicles, with the result that more than 85% of our vehicles are now compliant.

Although Euro 7 represents a new challenge for the road freight transport sector, it also offers opportunities to move towards a more sustainable and efficient fleet. At Conde Fernández Hermanos we are committed to adapting to these changes and continuing to provide a quality service. By looking for greener trucks and adapting to the different regulations we contribute to the preservation of our environment.