This is T&E's report on why Europe’s obsession with diesel cars is bad for its economy, its drivers and the environment.
The average car sits unused for more than 90% of the time, carries on average just one and a half people and costs, on average, €6,500 a year to own and run. Each car occupies 150m2 of urban land and still this is not the full bill – congestion costs the EU economy €100 billion annually. The convenience that made the car a 20th century icon has been eroded by its popularity.
This briefing outlines how, more than a year since the VW scandal broke and almost a year since the new reform of EU testing system was proposed, there is minimal progress to tackle the legacy of dirty diesel cars on the road. No action whatsoever has been taken to reduce the emissions of 80% of the most grossly emitting diesel cars. Out of the 20% of cars subject to some recalls. The briefing also outlines how the latest leaked documents reveal that the majority of member states are also trying to block and weaken any future reform on the newly proposed Type Approval Framework Regulation, stripping the Commission of any powers to do independent checks on in-use vehicles.
This report, released on the first anniversary of the Dieselgate scandal, exposes the shocking number of dirty diesel cars on the EU’s roads and the feeble regulation of cars by national authorities that have focused on protecting their own commercial interests or those of domestic carmakers. In the US, following the disclosure that VW had cheated emissions tests, justice has been swiftly and effectively delivered. This is in stark contrast to Europe where VW claims it has not acted illegally, no penalties have been levied and no compensation has been provided to customers.
The automotive sector is on the brink of a major disruption and car makers are about to see “... more change in the next five years than [we’ve seen] in the last 50 years.” One of these shifts is from internal combustion engines to electric mobility.
On 31 May 2017, the European Commission published its proposal to review the ‘Eurovignette’ Directive. The Directive defines how Member States of the European Union can charge vehicles for their use of road infrastructure and was conceived to ensure the proper functioning of the EU transport market. Transport accounts for around a quarter of EU GHG emissions. Meanwhile air pollution from road transport contributes to over 400,000 premature deaths per year, 26,000 people die in traffic annually, and the EU economy loses €100 bn every year in congestion. This briefing outlines why road charging is a key instrument to tackle this.
This new study by Christian Berggren and Per Kågeson for T&E provides a comprehensive study of benefits and challenges for Europe to electrify its vehicle fleet.
In 2015, Groupe PSA, Transport & Environment (T&E), France Nature Environnement (FNE) and Bureau Veritas announced plans to measure and publish real-life fuel economy information for PSA vehicles. Unlike most other fuel economy measurements, the tests were to be performed on the road using a Portable Emissions Monitoring System (PEMS).
The introduction of the new car tests, the WLTP and RDE tests, marks an important milestone in the battle to ensure cars comply with environmental limits on the road and to end the cheating that has become endemic in emissions testing. But, as this briefing outlines, new tests are not a panacea and will need to be further refined to ensure they are really representative of how cars are driven. The forthcoming decisions on how and who approves cars for sale will be key to ensuring the system of approvals is independent and rigorously enforced.
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.