This briefing outlines how, more than a year since the VW scandal broke and almost a year since the new reform of EU testing system was proposed, there is minimal progress to tackle the legacy of dirty diesel cars on the road. No action whatsoever has been taken to reduce the emissions of 80% of the most grossly emitting diesel cars. Out of the 20% of cars subject to some recalls. The briefing also outlines how the latest leaked documents reveal that the majority of member states are also trying to block and weaken any future reform on the newly proposed Type Approval Framework Regulation, stripping the Commission of any powers to do independent checks on in-use vehicles.
On 20 December the European Commission will meet with EU Member States in the Technical Committee on Motor Vehicles (TCMV) to agree the next milestone of the EU vehicle testing reform. The so-called RDE 3rd package extending the new on-road tests to particulate emissions from gasoline direct injection cars. It's designed to tackle the problem of large numbers of ultrafine and highly damaging particles emitted from the new generation of gasoline engines. These particles penetrate deeply into human lungs and blood and contribute to the 467,000 deaths from air pollution annually according to the latest EEA figures.
To tackle high exhaust particulate emissions, the European Commission has proposed a third real-world driving emission (RDE) package to be implemented from 2018 for all new cars. But leaks of the draft regulations and minutes of meetings with member states, plus documents prepared by carmakers, show there is concerted attempt to further weaken an already inadequate proposal. This is intended to circumvent the new test and avoid the need for carmakers to fit a simple Gasoline Particulate Filter (GPF) that costs just €25 and would clean up the emissions. The weaknesses in the proposal are explained in this paper along with who is lobbying to weaken the proposals and what is needed in order to avoid a future Petrolgate scandal of increasing particulate emissions.
Questions to Mr Jos Dings, Executive Director forEMIS hearing on 4 July 2016
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.
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.
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.
Launched in July 2014, the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) is being negotiated between the European Union – on behalf of its 28 member states – and 16 other members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The selection of goods for the EGA list was undertaken in secrecy and without a definition of an environmental good or selection criteria. T&E has identified around 120 items on the list of 650 goods for which we do not see any environmental justification for lowering tariffs. We argue that negotiations should open up and the assessment of what is an environmental good should be conducted by recognised experts in full transparency, on the basis of a widely accepted methodology.