Last week I was in Hannover for the IAA2016, the twice-yearly truck fair. This is the place where European truckmakers exhibit their new models and score a few political points in front of the assembled press.Quite a few of my truck industry colleagues approached me and urged that I check the latest edition of Lastauto Omnibus, a truck testing magazine. Judging from their big smiles, there was an article in there that they all liked a lot.
The European haulage industry and green groups have jointly called for stricter rules for vans as transport carried out by vans continues to increase. In a letter, the organisations ask that the Commission uses its upcoming road package to level the playing field between vans and trucks.
National regulators turning a blind eye to vehicle test cheating is the main culprit for the 29 million ‘dirty’ diesel cars on European roads today. On the occasion of the Dieselgate anniversary T&E launched a damning report showing that those 29 million cars and vans exceed by at least three times Europe’s legal NOx limits, known as Euro 5 and Euro 6. The vehicles, which grossly pollute the environment and cause thousands of premature deaths every year, were approved for sale by national type approval authorities, mainly in Germany, France and the UK.
This dinner, kindly hosted by Christel Schaldemose MEP and Ivan Štefanec MEP, will aim to contribute to the current Parliament and Council deliberations on the newly proposed type approval reform. The discussion will touch on the key provisions that are necessary to make the EU vehicle testing system more robust and independent, such as giving the Commission power to re-test cars, having better market surveillance of vehicles on the road, having better accountability of national regulators, and increased transparency. Speakers will include representatives from EU institutions, consumers, technical services, third party testing organisations and NGOs.
The race to electrify mobility took an important step forward with a series of announcements from German carmakers on new electric cars and trucks. This coincided with a strong signal from the European Commission, through its Low-Emission Mobility Strategy, that electric vehicles, and not diesel-powered ones, have the principal role in decarbonising transport.
Our job is to research, debate and campaign with the facts available. But in 2015 our work also saw us expose the real impact of transport on our climate, environment and health. Check out T&E's annual report to watch our story.