The newly elected mayor of London has said improving the British capital’s air quality will be one of his top priorities. Sadiq Khan’s first policy announcement after winning the election in May was to increase the size of London’s clean air charging zone and impose an additional charge on the most polluting vehicles.
Three quarters of a ‘Dirty 30’ list of cars with suspicious emissions behaviour compiled by Transport & Environment (T&E) were approved for sale in Europe by the ‘home’ national authorities. These type approval authorities refuse to take any action to bring carmakers to account, instead blaming Brussels for ‘vague’ legal definitions.
Transport & Environment has re-analysed the data from the national emissions testing programmes and identified 30 of among the highest polluting new diesel cars on Europe’s roads. The “Dirty Thirty” span across most carmakers with Renault (four), Mercedes (three) and Opel/Vauxhall (three) standing out. Each car was approved by one of seven national type approval authorities. Nine cars were approved in the UK; Germany and France each approved seven; the Netherlands approved three; Luxembourg two; and Spain and Italy one each.
Carmakers must be forced to come clean after three new defeat devices were identified by analyses of three government investigations into the Dieselgate car emissions scandal, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. Citing testing exemptions, most carmakers switch off their emissions control systems in everyday driving and weather conditions such as temperatures below 17°C.
This briefing looks at the main results of Dieselgate investigations in Germany, France and the UK and finds that they indicate the presence of more defeat devices. They also show most manufacturers switch off or turn down their emission control technologies at temperatures and conditions outside of the lab test without rigorous justification. More suspiciously, most cars in Europe emit much more pollution after a hot engine restart compared to a cold one demanded by the EU law – in contrast to in the US.
This briefing explains how the new type approval proposal is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to strengthen the European vehicle and component testing system, and that while the proposal is a good start, it is missing key elements needed to make it truly effective.
The NGVA claims that natural and biogas are the only viable routes to clean up road vehicles, especially trucks. Even if we would ignore the issue of methane leakage – and that is not a good idea – the potential for natural gas remains limited.
The appalling scale of carmakers’ gaming and cheating of emissions tests became more apparent in April as their credibility collapsed like a house of cards. The steady drip-drip with which the public became increasingly aware of the magnitude and pervasiveness of carmakers’ wrongdoing started on 20 April when Mitsubishi’s top executives admitted it had cheated CO2 tests on 625,000 minicars in Japan. Mitsubishi’s president acknowledged the misconduct with a deep bow of apology and later admitted the carmaker had cheated fuel tests for 25 years.
The recent news that VW has failed to meet yet another deadline set by the US regulators to fix almost 600,000 of its diesel vehicles equipped with a defeat device has come as no surprise; VW has repeatedly missed deadlines and failed to provide adequate explanations since the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disclosed the carmaker’s cheating last September.