Browse by topic: Cars, Climate Change and Energy


‘The US discovering this is really embarrassing’

The Volkswagen test-rigging scandal has been roundly cited as an embarrassment for regulators in Europe because it took an American regulator to highlight blatant malpractice by a European company. The discomfort is heightened by the fact that diesel cars make up a tiny percentage of the market in the US – about 3% – but they account for about 50% of sales in Europe. EU regulators were also informed at the same time as those in the US by the International Council on Clean Transportation but took no action.

Some Mercedes, BMW and Peugeot models consuming around 50% more fuel than official results, new study reveals

New cars, including the Mercedes A, C and E class, BMW 5 series and Peugeot 308, are now swallowing around 50% more fuel than their lab test results, new on-the-road results compiled by Transport & Environment (T&E) reveal. The gap between official and real-world performance found in many car models has grown so wide that it cannot be explained through known factors including test manipulations. While this does not constitute proof of ‘defeat devices’ being used to fiddle fuel economy tests, similar to that used by Volkswagen, EU governments must extend probes into defeat devices to CO2 tests and petrol cars too.

Mind the Gap 2015: Closing the chasm between test and real-world car CO2 emissions

Sketch of a book (default image for publications

The system of testing cars to measure fuel economy and CO2 emissions is utterly discredited. This report analyses the gap between test results and real-world performance and finds that it has become a chasm, increasing from 8% in 2001 to 31% in 2012 and 40% in 2014. Without action this gap will grow to nearly 50% by 2020. It also looks at which models have been found to have the biggest gap between claimed CO2 emissions and real-world performance.

The VW scandal and what does it mean for TTIP?

Sketch of a book (default image for publications

Unless you have buried your head in the sand over the last couple of days, you would have been hard pressed to miss the VW cheating scandal that has erupted in the United States. A tsunami of media stories have taken over the front pages of the FT, NYT, The Guardian, Le Figaro, Il Sole 24 Ore, to name a few.

Fuel consumption meters, saving motorists up to €50 a year, get MEPs’ backing

Eco-driving technology that will save motorists €30 to €50 year today received the backing of MEPs who called for mandatory fuel consumption meters for all new cars, vans and trucks. The European Parliament’s environment committee overwhelmingly voted for the meters to be fitted and permanently visible in all new vehicles from 1 January 2019, leading to fuel efficiency gains of 2-3% per year.

VW’s cheating is just the tip of the iceberg

The prospect of Volkswagen being fined $18 billion for manipulating air pollution tests in the US caused its shares to fall 22% and is sending shock waves through the automotive industry. VW has been ordered to recall nearly 500,000 cars, meaning a massive bill to correct the vehicles and potential class action claims for compensation. After initially refusing to comment, CEO Winterkorn issued a statement saying he was “very sorry”. The evidence suggests he will not be the last head of a carmaker offering apologies in the next few months as other manufacturers will be found making use of “defeat devices” for tricking laboratory tests.

Uber case to shape future of shared mobility

The role of shared mobility in shaping European transport is likely to be influenced by a Spanish case referred to the European Court of Justice. A judge in Barcelona has asked the court to rule on whether Uber, the smartphone application for hailing taxis, often unlicensed, should be regulated as a digital or transport service. Meanwhile, the European Commission has launched its own investigation into how to deal with Uber, which will run in parallel with the court case.

Regulation needed to stimulate electric-vehicle market – report

Electric vehicle (EV) sales grew to 67,000 vehicles in 2014, up from just 700 in 2010, which T&E’s analysis found was partly the result of more major car companies offering EV models in the market. However, they still only represent 0.5% of the total annual sales, in part as a result of limited supply of models (just 20 are available). Some manufacturers – most notably Ford and Fiat – are not supplying any models.