The recent Belgium TV expose has opened a new debate about how “clean” diesel cars really are in the real world and the effectiveness of both the emissions testing and car approval system.
There are 35 million dirty diesel cars and vans driving on Europe’s roads today – six million more than when the Dieselgate scandal broke in 2015. The growth in the number of poisonous vehicles in the fleet – revealed by new T&E research – will be a stark reminder to MEPs as they enter negotiations with governments this September to reform the flawed system of testing and approving cars for sale in Europe.
The EU and China have reacted to US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord by agreeing to cooperate to ensure aviation and shipping play their part in tackling climate change. T&E has welcomed the agreement, but fears the US withdrawal will slow down progress in shipping. Such a worrying sentiment was felt within the shipping industry, too.
In recent years, there have been numerous examples of member states hiding behind Brussels’ procedures such as the opaque comitology procedure. Member states managed to significantly weaken implementing legislation, such as air pollution limits, or refusing to take a decision at all. It was up to the Commission to take a final, often unpopular decision - for which the Commission was then blamed - which led to the infamous Brussels Blame Game. As a response, Commission president Juncker proposed a targeted reform of the Comitology Regulation 182/2011.
Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes European Commission’s proposal today on smart road tolls and its commitment to zero-emission mobility. The Commission also reaffirmed its commitment to set stricter CO2 standards for cars, vans and, for the first time, trucks. These are moves in the right direction, but the real test of the EU’s intentions will be the ambition of the CO2 standards and whether it proposes a zero-emission vehicle mandate, the sustainable transport group said.
One and a half years since the VW and ensuing Dieselgate scandal erupted, continuing inaction by Europe’s 28 car regulators have resulted in almost 35 million dirty diesels on Europe’s roads. These will continue to pollute the air for decades to come and already result in nearly 7,000 premature deaths annually which could have been avoided if the EU air pollution limits were met. This briefing explain's T&E's analysis of the data, how the car approval system has been discredited, and how member states are falling short in their ambition for reform. It also outlines the position of Germany; the champion for dirty diesel.
MEPs and the European Commission must stand firm on delivering a proper fix of Europe’s system of testing and approving cars, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment has said, after EU governments today agreed to waterdown some of the reforms. Governments opposed independent EU-level oversight of national type approval authorities – the regulators which allowed Volkswagen and other carmakers to cheat vehicle emissions tests and put 35 million dirty diesel cars on our roads. 
More than one-and-a-half years after the dieselgate scandal erupted the number of dirty diesels poisoning the air Europeans breathe keeps growing. New T&E research shows that there are 35 million of these diesel cars and vans driving on Europe’s roads today, six million more than in 2015. These Euro 5 and 6 diesel cars and vans were sold in Europe between 2011 and 2016 and exceed the nitrogen oxides (NOx) limits by at least three times (1).
T&E are calling on the Commission to promote distance-based charging for passenger cars in the upcoming review of the Eurovignette Directive. This position paper and summary briefing paper detail how charging road users for every kilometre that they drive can be a means to promote smarter transport behaviour and, if implemented correctly, increase the uptake of cleaner vehicles.