“The MEPs have voted for a necessary and important correction to the unrealistic plans of the Commission,” said Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), in response to today’s vote by the European Parliament on the draft Regulation on exterior noise from road vehicles. “The MEPs have understood that it does not make much sense to try to influence current new cars in the short term. The new limit values have been adjusted to take account of the time needed to develop new generations of vehicles. The European Parliament’s limit values demand a great deal from the automotive companies without creating burdens that jeopardise economic viability. The Council should now use this vote for orientation.”
The limit values are determined individually for the various vehicle categories, ranging from conventional passenger cars to buses and all the way to heavy commercial vehicles. “The European Parliament has taken account of the vehicle market as it is today. The division into vehicle categories corresponds to current technology,” Wissmann stressed. He added that this represented a huge improvement on the Commission’s proposal: “Some of the vehicle categories given by the Commission were over 25 years old and no longer reflected reality.”
The VDA president pointed out that modern new cars are much quieter than their predecessors. “Since 1970 vehicle noise emissions have been brought down by 85 per cent. Today 13 new commercial vehicles taken together equal the noise level of a single commercial vehicle from the year 1980. Similarly, today six modern passenger cars equal the noise level of a single passenger car from 1980.”
Wissmann emphasised that effective reduction would also require measures outside of vehicles. These would include such items as intelligent traffic guidance for steady traffic flow, advanced low-noise road surfaces, and structural noise protection measures.