The final text for the Regulation was adopted yesterday by the European Parliament. Once enforced, the maximum noise levels from both cars and commercial vehicles will have to be further reduced in phases over the next 12 years.
The automobile industry welcomes the conclusion of discussions because of its need for legal certainty and technical predictability. However, it notes that the required noise reduction levels are very ambitious and present a number of complex technical challenges for vehicle manufacturers.
In a statement following the vote the European Parliament said, “The new rules will phase in new limits by 1 July 2016, 2020 and 2024. The first phase will only apply new engine noise limits to new vehicle types. The second and the third phases will bring in lower decibel values and also include all new vehicles produced, two years after they start (i.e. 2022 and 2026).”
“The limit for standard cars will be reduced to 68 db in 12 years, from the current level of 74 db. More powerful vehicles will be allowed a margin of 1 to 9 extra decibels. The rules bring down the limit for the most powerful heavy lorries (over 12 tonnes) to 79 db from 81 db,” added the European Parliament statement.
Speaking after the vote, ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert said, “These new noise limits are very ambitious, but the industry is committed to reaching them in order to ensure the health and safety of European consumers. Already, a modern vehicle is 90% quieter than one from the 1970s. The industry works hard to deliver mobility solutions which are safe, smart and sustainable across Europe."
Mr Jonnaert added, “To achieve these reduced noise levels, various sectors will need to work together, including with infrastructure providers and tyre manufacturers, as non-vehicle factors are a significant cause of road noise.”