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EU car emissions test ‘deceiving customers’

The gap between what cars emit in reality and what they are officially measured as emitting has grown to nearly a quarter, and continues to grow. A report by T&E says this gap and its growth is caused by car makers’ manipulation of testing procedures, and it explains how this is done. T&E says the current test regime is not fit for purpose, a new test should replace it by 2016, and follow-up checks should be carried out on cars to show their results are consistent with the official test results.

ICCT warns Commission on ‘weight v footprint’ debate

An international study has warned the EU that it risks getting an important detail wrong in plans to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new cars. The International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) says basing the EU’s emissions standards on the weight of a vehicle will make it much harder and more expensive to achieve targets and instead a vehicle’s ‘footprint’ should be the guiding factor. 

60 g/km by 2025 is possible with existing technology

A report commissioned by T&E and Greenpeace suggests the EU can more than halve its existing carbon dioxide emissions from new cars with existing technology. The report, by the British consultancy Ricardo-AEA, says the right mixture of electric, hybrid and conventionally-fuelled cars will enable Europe to reach a target of 60 grams per kilometre from the average new car in 2025.

‘Scaremongering’ could lead to louder roads

Efforts to reduce traffic noise across Europe suffered a setback earlier this month when MEPs voted to weaken current noise limits for sports cars and lorries. The outcome of the vote hinders moves to bring EU vehicle noise levels into line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for safe limits. T&E says MEPs have put pressure by the automotive industry ahead of the health of citizens.

A win/win/win situation – more fuel-efficient cars are quieter cars

New research commissioned by T&E has confirmed that measures aimed at improving fuel efficiency also reduce vehicle noise. The report was published just days before the environment committee of the European Parliament voted to tighten existing noise standards for vehicles, narrowly defeating an alternative proposal that would have allowed much louder cars, buses and lorries.

At least a third of official car CO2 reductions are not real

A new report for the Commission suggests about a third of reported carbon dioxide emissions reductions from new cars since 2002 have not happened. T&E says this results in drivers being ‘cheated’ out of the benefits of lower fuel costs, as well as higher emissions of greenhouse gases.

Electric cars that don’t need charging

A Japanese academic has developed an innovative way of making electric cars more attractive – having them charge their battery as they drive along the road. Based on the assumption that what is holding back electric cars is the need to carry an expensive and heavy battery that takes a long time to charge and then offers either a short distance or a low speed, Takashi Ohira at the Toyohashi University of Technology has built a 0.3%-scale electric car that picks up electricity from electrodes buried beneath the road surface as it drives along.

No need to provide CO2 information?

T&E’s Belgian member Inter-Environnement Wallonie (IEW) has warned that the EU law requiring car manufacturers to give information on CO2 emissions from new cars has no teeth. IEW has given up a four-year fight, during which it complained to the Commission on several occasions that car makers are blatantly ignoring directive 1999/94, which makes it obligatory to give fuel economy and emissions information where new cars are sold. 

The role of the Commission in advancing the road pricing agenda cannot be understimated

"The role of the Commission in advancing the road pricing agenda cannot be underestimated", T&E Director Jos Dings stated at the Conference on fair and efficient road pricing organised by the European Commission on 5 Dec:

Road pricing is progressing because the list of its advantages is impressive. No wonder ever more countries in Europe are choosing for road user charging, and we are having a conference about its future.

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