Volkswagen is hopeful that an "amicable solution" to the problem of the contentious new Euro 7 emissions proposals is emerging after discussions involving the European Commission, VW brand boss Thomas Schäfer has said.
If not, VW is likely to discontinue the Polo due to the cost burden, he warned.
The car industry slammed the proposals announced in November last year, describing them as “unworkable” and “useless”.
Manufacturers have hotly contested the Commission’s claim that the proposals will add €90-€150 (£79-£131) to the price of a car, warning that they may need to cancel smaller models altogether.
VW has said its Polo model is under threat. “Smaller combustion-engine vehicles will become prohibitively expensive,” Schäfer told Autocar at a recent event to unveil the ID 2all concept, which previews an electric small car VW wants to sell alongside the Polo from 2025. “It literally makes it impossible to continue with a small [ICE] vehicle as it currently stands.”
Schäfer said he raised the additional cost with the Commission in a recent meeting, arguing that it might be true for bigger cars but not for smaller models. “The new measures are not a big problem for something like a Audi A6, which already has hybrid technology and an auto gearbox,” he said. The extra cost comes from adding that technology to a budget car. “It makes a dying technology prohibitively expensive.”
The timescale to apply Euro 7 from 1 July 2025 for new cars and light vans is also far too short, given that some of the proposals have still to be tested and verified. Schäfer cited the requirement to send on-board diagnostics back to the Commission to confirm vehicles are continuing to achieve their emissions targets over the course of their life. The same is also true for measuring particulates from brakes and tyres.
However, discussions are moving in the direction of the car maker, Schäfer believes. “There’s probably a lot of misunderstandings,” he said. “From the engagements we’ve had recently, I had the feeling there is an amicable solution going forward. I hope so.”