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  • European drivers to get more reliable fuel consumption figures in 2018

    Carmakers will have to provide more realistic fuel economy figures for their new cars as of 2018 thanks to the introduction of a new CO2 laboratory test (WLTP – Worldwide harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure). Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the decision reached last night between member states, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

    The current test (NEDC) is riddled with loopholes that carmakers use to manipulate test rules to produce artificially low official CO2 and fuel economy figures. This has caused the gap between test and real-world performance to grow from 8% to over 40%. The actual fuel efficiency of cars on the road has been stagnating for three years now.

    Greg Archer, clean vehicles director at T&E said: “We congratulate Commissioner Bieńkowska and her team on standing firm against the pressure of some member states that are under the thumb of the car industry. This is a victory for drivers who will get more realistic fuel efficiency information to help them choose better cars.”

    T&E stresses that although the new WLTP test is a good step forward, it is still a standard laboratory test executed under set conditions and hence prone to new forms of vehicle ‘optimisation’ – by 2025 the gap is expected to be over 30%. Therefore it is necessary to complement lab testing with random, spot checks on the road.  

    “Step by step, Europe is beginning to rebuild its discredited system for testing and approving cars. In October, car-producing countries led by Germany succumbed to carmakers’ pressure and forced through weak emission rules for diesel cars. Yesterday they saw sense and stuck to the agreed timetable. We need similar sense to prevail on future votes to ensure car approval is rigorous, independent and based on road tests,” Greg Archer concluded.

    Member states and the Parliament are currently negotiating a proposal for reviewing the system of approving new cars for sale in the EU. The European Commission is preparing a proposal for post-2020 CO2 standards for new cars, which is expected to be made in the first quarter of 2017.