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Tackling real world emissions from cars

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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.

Particle emissions from petrol cars

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Vehicle tests show that without the use of gasoline particulate filters (GPF) the number of particles emitted from gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines is likely to exceed future European emissions limits, known as Euro 6 standards. Nowadays, particle emissions from these new petrol engines are higher than equivalent diesel vehicles. The cost of a filter to eliminate particle emissions is low (around €40), with no fuel economy penalty. Despite this, carmakers are delaying fitting filters on GDI cars and instead rely on manipulating tests. Their reluctance is worsening urban air pollution and reducing the health benefits of the new limits.

Tackling emissions from diesel machines

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European air pollution rules for diesel machines such as bulldozers, excavators and barges are much more lax than those for cars and lorries. As well as this, some engine types and older machines are excluded from air pollution law. This is a problem because, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), diesel exhaust is carcinogenic. Ambitious, comprehensive and consistent rules are needed to limit air pollution emissions from non-road mobile machinery (NRMM - diesel machines). These are required to address the growing urban air pollution that Europe faces. T&E believes that future EU legislation on diesel machines must be in line with emissions limits for equivalent road vehicles.

Effect of the Lithuanian proposal to the European Parliament on car CO2 emissions targets

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In 2009, the EU set legally-binding targets for new cars to emit 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km in 2020. In July 2012, the European Commission announced the outcome of its review of the modalities (ways) of achieving the 2020 target; and in June 2013, a first-reading agreement was reached on the proposal. Following the agreement, a coalition of Member States led by Germany successfully delayed a vote in Council and then overturned the deal in the Environment Council. Lithuania has now developed a new proposal it plans to table to the European Parliament. This briefing describes how the Lithuanian proposal will delay meeting the 2020 target until 2024.

Vehicle noise: final trilogue negotiations

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Traffic noise is the second-biggest environmental factor affecting Europeans’ health after air pollution. Almost half of EU citizens are regularly exposed to road traffic noise over the level that the World Health Organisation considers to pose a serious risk to health. Noise pollution has been linked to 50,000 fatal heart attacks every year in Europe. This briefing outlines the European Commission, Parliament and Council positions on a proposal for new vehicle noise standards ahead of a third round of trilogue negotiations on 5 November, 2013. It also outlines T&E's analysis of the main issues as well as its recommendations for a compromise that avoids legal and technical loopholes.

Vehicle noise: impact of Commission, Parliament and Council positions

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Traffic noise is the second biggest environmental factor affecting Europe’s health after air pollution. Almost half of EU citizens are regularly exposed to road traffic noise over the level that the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers to pose a serious risk to health. Noise pollution has been linked to 50,000 fatal heart attacks every year in Europe.

Open letter to the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU calling on the deal on CO2 emissions from cars to be put to a vote

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In this open letter to the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, Transport & Environment and Greenpeace call on the Presidency to fulfil its role as neutral and unbiased chair, follow the wish of the vast majority of member states and the two other EU institutions, and put the agreed deal to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars to a vote.

Effect of the German phase-in proposal to the 2020 target

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Cars are responsible for an eighth of Europe’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.  The amount of CO2 produced is directly related to the amount of fuel the vehicle consumes – lower carbon vehicles are therefore more fuel efficient and cheaper to run.

German proposal to weaken 95g cars CO2 law for 2020

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The following leaked document is being circulated by Germany in order to try and persuade other EU countries to delay, by up to 4 years, the agreed car fuel efficiency standards of 95 g for 2020. This would result in a weakening of 9g and make any 2025 target impossible.

How clean are Europe's cars 2013

This report is the eighth T&E has published on the annual progress Europe’s major car manufacturers have made in reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of new cars. As we did in previous reports, we also assess progress per EU Member State and review how official CO2 figures are translating into the ‘real world’.
 

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