Gap between official and real-world CO2 up to 45%, says EEA

February 2, 2016

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has attempted to explain why the EU’s current emissions testing system for new cars is giving readings that are very different from emissions in real-life driving.

The EEA has published a report, Explaining road transport emissions: a non-technical guide, which gives a simplified explanation of the information on road emissions and the technology available to reduce them. It confirms that the EU’s testing procedure produces misleading emissions data and says there are three main reasons: a current testing system that is outdated, permitted flexibilities in the current testing regime that allow car makers to achieve artificially low emissions readings; and factors which cannot be taken into account in a laboratory test such as driver behaviour or certain weather.

It is the first time the EEA has acknowledged the gap by publishing both the official and ‘real-world’ CO2 figures. ‘The discrepancy between type approval and real-world CO2 emissions is about 40–45 %,’ it says.

The current EU testing procedure is due to be replaced in 2017 or 2018 by a more accurate testing system.

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