A number of European governments have ordered their own national investigations following news that Volkswagen had rigged emissions tests by using ‘defeat devices’. The European Commission issued a statement encouraging such inquiries.
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.
In this letter to the EU's Technical Committee on Motor Vehicles, T&E highlights the urgent need to finalise the new Real-world Driving Emissions (RDE) test as soon as possible to reduce emissions on the road and tackle the illegal use of defeat devices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Greg Archer, clean vehicles manager at T&E
In this report T&E analyses the reasons for and solutions to air pollution caused by diesel machines and cars – the worst of which, an Audi, emitted 22 times the allowed EU limit. In fact, every major car manufacturer is selling diesel cars that fail to meet EU air pollution limits on the road in Europe, according to data obtained by T&E. As a consequence, much urban air in Europe is not fit to breathe. The high levels of particles, nitrogen oxides and unburned fuel create a cocktail of harmful pollution. The effects are half a million premature deaths each year; a quarter of a million hospital admissions; and 100 million lost working days cumulatively costing over €900 billion.