The Euro 7 emissions regulations are one of the issues that most concern car manufacturers, especially European ones, due to the damage that the standard proposed by the European Union can do to their own market, the most restrictive in the world in terms of emissions. in terms of polluting gases.
According to the CEO of the Volkswagen brand, Thomas Schäfer, if Euro 7 comes into force (on July 1, 2025) in the terms proposed by Brussels, it will make internal combustion cars and also electric cars more expensive due to the enormous investment that will be required. The industry has to face to change production processes and adapt its range to new restrictions.
"Thermal cars will easily go up between 2,000 and 3,000 euros with Euro 7, because you have to hybridize them, change the gearbox, go from manual to automatic, among other things," said Schäfer at the Munich Motor Show during a meeting with a small group of journalists, among whom was EXPANSIÓN.
The German manager, very critical of the controversial European emissions regulations, predicted the end of cars under 20,000 euros if the EU does not back down. "Cheap cars, what we know today as cheap cars, even in the electric segment, will become more expensive", also due to the new GSR2 safety regulations, which requires the incorporation of more ADAS driving assistance systems.
"There is no way to get there this way. Cars under 20,000 euros will have difficulties staying at that price. That is the reality of the regulations that we must face," lamented Schäfer, who is also president of the board of directors of Seat and director worldwide volume brands of the Volkswagen Group.
The CEO of Volkswagen rules out the use of hydrogen as an alternative to battery electric technology. "Our future is electric. There is nothing as energy efficient as battery electric technology by pure physics. When you separate hydrogen from oxygen you lose 45% of the energy. And then you lose another 40% when converting it to e-fuel or liquid hydrogen, while battery-electric driving only wastes 10% and the remaining 90% is used to propel the vehicle," Schäfer said.
"Hydrogen has a great future for energy storage and other applications, but not for passenger cars, not even in the premium segment. I bet hydrogen won't make it to passenger cars," added Schäfer, who confessed that The big problem with this technology is the enormous infrastructure that would be needed to make it possible.
"The only countries that are promoting hydrogen at the moment are South Korea and Japan for national interests, no one else. That's why I think hydrogen will not be possible for passenger cars for a long time," he said.
The manager also ruled out the massive use of synthetic fuels for the automotive industry, because, in his opinion, they are very expensive to produce and do not completely solve the problem of CO2 emissions. "Synthetic fuels are good for classic cars, racing cars, sports cars, airplanes and things like that. They are fantastic, but there is not enough energy in the world to create all the hydrogen or synthetic fuels that are needed. It is impossible," he said. Schäfer.