EU countries today agreed to strengthen rules governing how cars are approved for sale in Europe, with the goal of preventing another dieselgate. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the decision but warns that only proper scrutiny and real enforcement of the new rules will prevent carmakers from cheating again.
*See footnotes for quotes in French and GermanThe European Commission’s announcement of CO2 targets for cars and vans today is a gift to Europe’s carmakers and fails to tackle the EU’s biggest climate problem, transport, campaigners Transport & Environment (T&E) said.
Two years after the Dieselgate scandal exposed the dirty nature of diesel cars, a new study by Transport & Environment (T&E) shows that diesel cars not only pollute the air but also emit more climate-change emissions (CO2) than petrol cars. A lifecycle analysis of vehicle emissions proves that diesel cars over its lifetime emit 3.65 tonnes of CO2 more than a petrol equivalent. Diesel’s higher climate impact is due to a more energy-intensive refining of the diesel fuel; more materials required in the production of heavier and more complex engines; higher emissions from the biodiesel blended in the diesel fuel; and longer mileage because fuel is cheaper - see infographics below.
The Italian government’s Dieselgate investigation allowed Fiat cars to be tested at the carmaker’s testing facility, the leaked results show. Other manufacturers’ vehicles were independently tested but the Italian carmaker used its Turin facilities to pass – and three out of seven Fiat-Chrysler cars were even “exempted” from undergoing more demanding tests. The shockingly easy treatment of Italy’s domestic carmaker is revealed in the government’s official report that had been presented to a European parliamentary committee (EMIS) but never officially published.
Average gap between real-world fuel consumption and lab results for Mercedes cars is a whopping 54%, with the Mercedes A and E class reaching an inexplicable 56%. Industry wide, the gap becomes a 42% abyss, up from 28% only three years ago. Deceptive fuel consumption figures costs the typical driver in Europe around €549 a year in additional fuel bills compared to the official claims.
There are now 43 million dirty diesels on Europe’s roads, and their numbers continue to grow three years after the Dieselgate scandal was exposed, a new report concludes. Even a diesel car that passed the EU’s new on-road test emits nine times the legal amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx) when driven in a way more representative of typical driving, new testing shows. NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), which authored the report, said it shows combustion engines – including those which passed the official Real-Driving Emissions test – are not clean and will continue to pollute in the foreseeable future.
The European Parliament's environment committee today signalled the Parliament's support for ambitious CO2 standards for new cars and vans in 2030 and comprehensively rejected the Commission’s inadequate proposal just a month before the full Parliament votes. European NGO federation Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the vote as a step towards a more rapid transition to electric vehicles, but warns that the renewed ambition falls short of what is needed to meet Europe’s Paris climate commitments.
Despite the perception that public recharging is a major barrier to the mass uptake of electric vehicles (EV), public chargers are only used for about 5% of charging events, including on-street city charging, car parks and fast charging along road corridors. The data compiled in various studies to date shows that the vast majority of EV charging happens at home or work and it is a lack of choice and availability of electric cars that is the principal barrier.
Reacting to the own-initiative report by MEP Bas Eickhout on the Low Emission Mobility adopted today in plenary, Yoann Le Petit, clean vehicles officer at T&E, said: “The Parliament have shown they are serious about cleaning up Europe’s transport sector. MEPs have confirmed they want to see ambitious 2025 CO2 targets as well as a separate sales target for zero emission vehicles. In the forthcoming debates on the Second Mobility Package, Parliament has signaled it sees decarbonisation as a key pillar of the mobility revolution and complementary to a competitive industry that will secure jobs and investments in Europe."
Platform for Electro-Mobility reaction to European Parliament ITRE commitee vote on EPBDToday MEPs voted for electric vehicle charging points to be required in all new non-residential buildings. As they are more frequented than private buildings, large non-residential buildings ensure high visibility for and intensive use of EV charging points, the Platform for Electro-Mobility  said, welcoming the European Parliament industry committee's decision.