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.
Switzerland has voted in favour of building a second road tunnel through the Gotthard alpine mountain. In a referendum in late February, the Swiss electorate voted by 57% to 43% to approve a second road tunnel, despite it appearing to contradict the Swiss constitution that commits the country to shifting goods transport from road to rail. The vote has been widely seen as part of a political swing to the right, which has been accompanied by a weakening of public willingness to support environmental measures.
Increasing the use of natural gas in cars and trucks would be largely ineffective in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution, a new independent study finds. There are no GHG savings in shifting from diesel cars and trucks to compressed or liquefied natural gas (LNG) cars and trucks, while petrol-hybrid, electric and hydrogen cars deliver much greater climate benefits, the study for sustainable transport group Transport & Environment says.
In February 2016, the European Commission released a proposal to guarantee its gas supply security and is preparing another one to implement the EU’s 2030 climate targets for the transport, buildings and agriculture sectors. It is also developing a communication to decarbonise the road transport sector, to be announced this summer. To understand what role natural gas could have in achieving these objectives, T&E commissioned a study from Ricardo Energy & Environment to assess the impacts of large-scale use of natural gas in the transport sector.