New cars consume on average 42% more fuel on the road than advertised in sales brochures, according to T&E’s latest Mind the Gap report. Despite auto industry claims of their vehicles’ ever-improving fuel economy, the gap between real-world fuel consumption and official figures has grown from 28% in 2012 and 14% a decade ago.
The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has backed up T&E’s claims that the makers of trucks are ‘cherry picking’ vehicle test data so they can claim progress on fuel consumption and thus delay and avoid CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs). The ICCT says truckmakers have been selecting vehicles for comparisons that lead to favourable conclusions.
Truckmakers will be required to certify the CO2 emissions of all new trucks they sell in Europe from using a test procedure known as VECTO. The tool, which was was endorsed by EU member states and the European Commission last week, is designed to make figures for the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from new heavy-goods vehicles available for truck buyers.
Road traffic is the principal cause of noise disturbance across Europe, according to a new study published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). It means that road transport is now a major contributor to the two largest environmental stressors in Europe: air pollution and noise.
The widely-held assumption that little can be done to lower agriculture's climate emissions is being challenged by a new independent study. As MEPs debate expanding the use of controversial forestry credits and other loopholes to help sectors such as agriculture and transport meet their climate targets, the Institute for European Environmental Policy says there is significant untapped potential to reduce farming’s impact.
The head of Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has called for carmakers to be given minimum quotas for the number of electric vehicles they must sell. In an interview with the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit, Maria Krautzenberger said that, without a fixed share of e-vehicles, Germany will not reach its climate targets. Krautzenberger is also highly critical of the car industry and German government subsidies for diesel cars.
Some of Europe’s key auto industry players including Alstom, Siemens and Tesla teamed up with T&E and other NGOs last week to urge EU policymakers and governments to help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles across the continent. The group has also produced a video highlighting the potential for electromobility.
A solution to the long-standing confusion over how much pollution cars really emit is being pioneered by the cities of London and Paris. A new scheme, in which T&E is a partner, will measure real-world emissions from cars and make them available to the public via a special website. The mayor of Paris described the scheme as ‘not anti-car, just anti-pollution’.
New powers for the European Commission to spot check cars on the road and properly scrutinise national regulators over enforcement of safety and emissions rules have received an overwhelming backing of MEPs. The European Parliament supported a raft of proposals to further strengthen the Commission's original proposal for the reform of vehicles type approval. However, parliamentarians rejected the establishment of an EU testing regulator, which T&E said would have ensured a Dieselgate scandal could never happen again.