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 sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E). All new diesel cars should have met the Euro 6 auto emissions standard from 1 September – but just one in 10 tested complied with the legal limit.
The use of cheap, ineffective or poorly configured exhaust treatment systems is one of main reasons why the majority of new diesel cars fail to meet EU air pollution limits on the road. That’s according to the latest research by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), which last year found that 13 out of 15 modern diesel cars did not achieve the Euro 6 limit in real-world testing.
A consortium of car manufacturers, suppliers and repairers has, in an attempt to hide the fact that a typical diesel car emits 10 times more nitrogen oxides than an equivalent gasoline car, launched a new website. Its content ignores the inconvenient truth that new diesels can’t reach the limits agreed back in 2007 without fitting new technology. This briefing provides six facts about diesel cars that the industry would rather the public didn’t know.
New research has suggested that investing in public and low-emission transport could bring massive financial savings in addition to making a sizeable contribution to reducing greenhouse gases.
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.
Harmful levels of air pollution are endemic in European cities, especially close to roads, causing 400,000 premature deaths annually and costing the EU a whopping €1 trillion a year. This paper focuses on the role played by diesel cars in the air pollution crisis and identifies obsolete tests and optimisation strategies by car manufacturers as the reasons they have failed to deliver real-world improvements. It explores the Commission’s proposed new real-world driving (RDE) test, which is to be implemented for new Euro 6 standard vehicles, and outlines a timetable to address important issues relating to air pollution from cars.
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.
While new cars sold in 2014 averaged CO2 emissions of 123g/km, according to the How Cleans are Europe's cars 2015? report, real-world emissions are much higher and reductions in CO2 are happening considerably slower than depicted. Now T&E is warning that the cheating will continue to undermine progress even after a new test, the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP), is introduced.
The current system for testing car CO2 emissions and fuel economy, the NEDC, is obsolete. Thankfully, a new test, the WLTP, is scheduled to replace the NEDC in 2017. To do this, the average CO2 emissions target for cars (95 g/km for 2020/1) needs to be revised in a way that maintains “equivalent stringency” between the tests.