The environment is facing an existential crisis and we must act now by reducing emissions to address poor air quality and stop climate change. Policy makers, industry, academia and opinion leaders must work together to neutralize these threats. The forthcoming proposed Euro 7/VII regulation, if ambitious enough, has the potential to make a significant difference.
The EU is a pioneer in climate policy and has set clear ambitions to be climate neutral by 2050 through the ambitious European Green Deal. The Fit for 55 package has been a great set of measures to boost the transition, and the RepowerEU plan will now hopefully work as the catalyst needed to create even faster change. Only one piece of the puzzle needed to speed up the transition is missing: the proposed Euro 7/VII regulations for cars, vans and heavy-duty vehicles.
At Cummins, we are committed to achieving zero emissions through our Destination Zero strategy. We fully support strict, clear and enforceable Euro 7/VII regulations which allow us to compete on a level playing field and provide real benefits for the environment. Our technical experts are convinced that we can achieve ambitious goals and we hope that the proposed regulations will reflect these ambitions when published.
The European Green Deal strategy reflects our own Planet 2050 plan at Cummins, where we have the ambition that all of our facilities, operations and products will become climate neutral by 2050. Cummins is a global technology leader committed to addressing global challenges in of durability. We have been innovating for over 100 years and have a strong presence in Europe, where we design, manufacture, sell and service a broad portfolio of power solutions for transport and energy applications.
On this path to a zero-emissions future, the adoption of cleaner technologies today, such as near-zero natural gas products and near-zero diesel, before the widespread commercialization of zero-emissions technologies for all markets, can have a immediate positive impact. The Euro 7/VII regulation and its interaction with the CO of heavy goods vehicles2 Regulation is therefore essential to reduce emissions and improve air quality at the start of this journey towards an emission-free future. This short-term step is critical for the heavy-duty sector, which from an air quality and emissions perspective is much more difficult to reduce than other sectors due to their usage requirements and of their typical weight.
For the industry to innovate, we need a clear roadmap and timeline from policy makers on what regulations are coming in the coming years. As the world’s largest independent heavy-duty engine manufacturer, knowing and understanding Euro 7/VII regulations down to the smallest detail is critical to our business and that of our customers.
The regulatory calendar determines our product planning, technology development, investment decisions and the path to zero emissions. Any further delay in the proposed July publication of the proposed Euro 7/VII regulation is very difficult for industry players who need time to innovate, develop and launch a product. We expect the Euro 7/VII regulations to remain on its latest updated schedule, as there is a high level of complexity and corresponding time required to deliver a new engine technology platform. Cummins is ready to meet the demands of tough regulations, but meeting them would require new core engine hardware, new software, new architectures and after-processing components, to name a few considerations. And we want to ensure that the lead time is adequate so that the necessary innovation can take place to benefit the environment, our customers and end users with new and reliable technologies.
There is no silver bullet for the truck sector on the road to zero emissions. A suite of different power solutions will be needed to meet Euro 7/VII requirements and meet the zero destination targets set out in the European Green Deal. Policy proposals adopting a technology-neutral approach are essential for innovation and will guarantee the success of the Euro 7/VII proposal. As part of our innovation journey for the heavy-duty industry, Cummins has unveiled the industry’s first fuel-independent internal combustion engine platform that can be specified to perform optimally on different fuels, including diesel, renewable natural gas or hydrogen. These technologies can enable our customers and end users to move away from fossil fuels and meet Euro 7/VII requirements at a lower cost.
Cummins invests heavily in zero-emission technologies, spending more than €1 billion on research and technology each year. Cummins is now a global leader in battery and hydrogen technology, with much of this work taking place in Europe. Cummins has a fuel cell manufacturing plant in Herten, Germany, which provides power solutions for trains and trucks. Cummins is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electrolyzers for the production of green hydrogen, with facilities in Belgium and a future plant in Spain. And we have a joint venture with NPROXX to manufacture critical hydrogen tanks for storage and transport in Germany. These are all key technologies for creating a hydrogen economy here in Europe and for the success of the European Green Deal.
Europe’s heavy-duty engines and vehicles industry has faced greater challenges in the past three years than in living memory – Brexit, COVID-19, significant shortages in the supply chain and now the crisis in Ukraine. Having a period of regulatory certainty with clear deliverables, while meeting the challenges set out in the European Green Deal, will be key to the success of the sector. We call for the looming Euro 7/VII regulation proposal to be timely, clear, ambitious and technologically neutral in its approach. If so, it would provide the missing piece of the puzzle to raise the bar for the sector, for a more sustainable and prosperous future in Europe.