By Greg Archer, clean vehicles directorWHAT WE LEARNED IN 2016: After many false dawns, 2016 is the year electric cars showed they are on a path to rapidly replacing the infernal combustion engine. There are now more than half a million battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on Europe’s roads, and annual sales are expected to top 1.5% of the market for the first time. While the figures are modest, Dieselgate has created an EV earthquake, shaking carmakers from their complacency.
by Julia Poliscanova, clean vehicles and air quality managerWHAT WE LEARNED IN 2016: In response to the Dieselgate scandal, 2016 started with a bang with the Commission’s type approval proposal to reform the EU’s failed system of vehicle testing. The European Parliament also flexed its muscles by refusing to accept the new on-road tests for NOx emissions that doubled and delayed the agreed Euro 6 limits – peace only breaking out when the Commission promised to make the limits stricter in the future. EU policymakers also agreed the new air quality law, the National Emission Ceilings Directive to limit the emissions from member states – although the final outcome was deeply disappointing.
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.
Transport & Environment’s reply to the public consultation of the Commission's proposal for the 3rd Real-world Driving Emissions (RDE) test package.
The United Nations Environment Programme says making walking and cycling safer is vital for reducing pollution and climate-changing emissions. A new UNEP report notes the contribution of road transport to global warming and air pollution, yet almost half the 1.3 million people who die each year in traffic accidents are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists – transport users who generate fewest emissions.
Governments and carmakers are paving the way for a ‘Petrolgate’ scandal. That warning came from T&E after it obtained documents showing some governments and the car industry are trying to weaken the proposed new EU legislation on measuring particulate emissions from cars in real-world tests. Carmakers are trying to avoid having to pay €25 for a gasoline particulate filter, despite the new petrol fleet endangering human health.
Governments and carmakers are pushing for new petrol-engine cars to be allowed to emit over a hundred times more particles and thereby avoid fitting a gasoline particulate filter costing just €25. The evidence emerged in leaks of draft EU regulations, governments’ positions and car industry briefings obtained by Transport & Environment. The concerted efforts to weaken the already inadequate Real-driving Emissions (RDE) proposal – to be agreed with member states by the end of the year – are paving the way for a future ‘Petrolgate’ air pollution scandal, the sustainable transport group said.
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.