INDUSTRY COMMENTARY Euro 7 is a cause for concern Elmar Kühn, Chief Executive UNITI e.V.

UNITI e.V., and associations including VDA or VDMA, are taking a critical view of the plans to tighten the emission limits for nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, as well as changes in the Real Drive Emission Test (RDE), which could be applied to newly type-approved passenger cars and light commercial vehicles from 2025 onwards, with the Euro 7 emissions regulation.

The discussed new requirements in the Real Drive Emission Test are considered by experts to be technically impossible to fulfil for internal combustion engines. Their purpose is highly questionable, because Euro 7 would make absolute exceptional driving situations which are not relevant for the total picture and have so far not been part of the emissions test in the context of type approval. Suddenly they are test-relevant and thus declared part of everyday driving: new vehicles would have to achieve an almost complete reduction of pollutants - without having reached operating temperature - even in extreme situations such as sub-zero temperatures, when towing a trailer or driving at high altitudes. These requirements, which are not at all typical for everyday use, would overtax even the most modern exhaust gas aftertreatment purification systems, which have already proven to be able to reduce emission levels in normal operation to almost zero. The consideration of boundary conditions untypical of everyday life would not lead to a measurable improvement in air quality,

Commentary on Lubricant Base Oils market

because they play no role in normal operation and thus have virtually no impact on the total emissions.

UNITI believes the changes in RDE and the extreme tightening of exhaust emission limits would lead to a de-facto ban on new internal combustion vehicles from 2025. This would result in the irrevocable loss of hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs in the automotive industry in Germany alone, as well as in the mechanical and plant engineering sectors also in Europe. Above all, however, the possibility of affordable individual automobility would be acutely endangered for millions of car drivers. UNITI and other acknowledged associations and institutes therefore call on political decision-makers to ensure that exhaust emission regulations are not misused to ban internal combustion vehicles through the back door.


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Tight supply in the Base Oils market is due to a combination of factors including Covid-19 impacts that resulted in fuels demand destruction and limited feedstock supply to base oil plants; hurricane impacts in the US Gulf Coast late last year and recent winter storms in US further strained supply with many base oil producers already at low inventories; and planned maintenance schedules for multiple base oil plants in the first half of 2021 that is pulling supply capacity out of the market.


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