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Commission proposes to bring carmakers into line after dieselgate

The European Commission today published a proposal to improve the system for national authorities approving cars to be sold in all 28 EU member states. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the Commission’s constructive and timely attempt to bring into line carmakers who, for decades, have actively undermined the approval system circumventing regulation and damaging public health, safety and the climate.

5 facts about diesel the car industry would rather not tell you

A consortium of car manufacturers, suppliers and repairers has, in an attempt to hide the fact that a typical diesel car emits 10 times more nitrogen oxides than an equivalent gasoline car, launched a new website. Its content ignores the inconvenient truth that new diesels can’t reach the limits agreed back in 2007 without fitting new technology. This briefing provides six facts about diesel cars that the industry would rather the public didn’t know.

Realistic real-world driving emissions tests: a last chance for diesel cars?

Air pollution emissions limits for cars, vans and trucks (Euro Standards) have been progressively tightened, on paper, over 25 years but have failed to deliver real-world improvements for several key pollutants, notably nitrogen dioxide. This is because obsolete tests and “cycle beating” techniques have been used by carmakers leading to levels of emissions from some cars many times higher on the road than in laboratory tests. In October 2014, the Commission will be discussing progress and next steps with EU member states. This paper outlines key issues for member states to ensure that the new real-world (PEMS) tests are robust and representative of real-world driving in order for emissions to decline on the road. 

Car CO2 emissions drop 4%, but test manipulation at play

Carbon dioxide missions from new cars sold in the EU decreased almost 4% in 2013 compared to the previous year, according to provisional data from the European Environment Agency (EEA). But T&E has warned that the official figures do not match up on the road. While progress has been made by carmakers, flaws in the emissions test exaggerate the improvements, it is claimed.

Tackling real world emissions from cars

Light duty vehicles (LDVs) emit more pollutants on the road than in laboratory conditions. In order to solve this problem the Commission decided to introduce complementary type-approval procedures to measure gaseous and particulate emissions during real driving to make sure that they are similar to legal emission limits. To achieve this, the Real-Driving Emissions-Light Duty Vehicles (RDE-LDV) working group was created in 2011. Work in this group is currently focused on RDE tests during initial type approval.

This paper has been prepared by T&E to aid the work of this group. The paper considers the main topics of discussion: data analysis methods, boundary conditions, conformity factor, equipment (portable emissions measurement system – PEMS) and scope.

Air pollution forces Paris number plate ban

A peak in air pollution brought a drastic change to transport habits in Paris for one day, following a combination of unseasonably hot weather and diesel cars fumes. No strangers to air pollution regularly exceeding EU limits, the authorities in the French capital banned all cars with even-numbered licence plates from entering the city on 17 March due to exceptionally high levels. The idea was to ban odd-numbered plates the next day, but that proved unnecessary as a 25% reduction in traffic and cooler weather brought pollution levels down.

UK faces air quality fine

The European Commission is taking legal action against the UK over claims it is exceeding limits on air pollution from traffic. Britain has two months to respond to the case that it breached EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions, which cause breathing and other health problems.

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