The European Union has vowed to cut down noise levels of new cars in order to protect the health of its citizens. A new set of regulations which will reduce the sound level limits has been approved. But as it appears, this will also affect sports cars.
Regulations regarding permissible noise levels of motorized vehicles are not new, but these did not have the expected effect and the measurement procedure does not accurately represent the real noise characteristics of traffic. Therefore the proposed regulation includes new permissible noise limits and testing methods, designed to boost development of quieter vehicles.
But now members of the socialist, green and liberal factions within the EU Environment Committee has proposed a new set of regulations which goes even further. The updated and more ambitious legislation which will force car makers to cut down noise emissions by 50 percent before 2020 was adopted by a margin of one vote.
There wasn’t enough support for an exception for sports car, as desired by the car industry and conservative politicians. This pleased Judith Merkies, a Dutch Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Labour Party who said sports cars are the worst polluters.
The production of high performance vehicles is a niche area for Europe’s car industry and enforcing tighter noise limits will have an adverse impact on this area. Miroslav Ouzký, Czech MEP for the Conservative Party said:
Contrary to our proposal, which was realistic, the one adopted by the committee is over-ambitious. It will only hurt European automotive industry by reducing its ability to compete and might even lead to its destruction.
The final shape of the legislation will have to win blessing of both the European Parliament and the Council, which will vote on new rule in March. Even if adopted, implementation of these ambitious set of regulations is unsure given the dire state of the European car industry and economy.