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  • European governments support Commission proposals to clean up petrol cars’ particulate emissions

    Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the agreement by EU member states to introduce new real world emissions tests to measure particles from modern petrol engines. EU governments supported the Commission’s proposals for a conformity factor that increased the effective limit by 50% to take account of uncertainties in the test procedure, and provisions to make public the test results. They also agreed to stick with the proposed date for all new cars to comply with the rules as of September 2018.

    Julia Poliscanova, T&E clean vehicles manager, said: This decision will ensure petrol cars are fitted with filters to trap the tiny, harmful particles emitted in the exhaust. It is a good day for urban residents forced to breathe air polluted by car exhausts.

    A public consultation on the Commission proposal had been supported by a wide range of environmental, health and consumer organisations and cities, including T&E.

    The vote also approved changes to the new nitrogen oxides (NOx) tests for diesel engines to make these more representative of real world driving. The changes to the tests will account for the higher emissions when engines are cold and when the particulate filters are cleaned, which were omitted from the original rules.     

    The vote today in the European Council’s Technical Committee on Motor Vehicles (TCMV) was passed 23 votes to 3.  Only the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania voted against the regulation with Slovakia abstaining.

    Florent Grelier, T&E clean vehicles engineer, added: The Commission can now focus on establishing the rules to test cars on the road using a real world test. This is essential to ensure cars in use perform as they do in the lab and will ensure in the future carmakers cannot circumvent the rules as they’ve done for far too long.