While new cars sold in 2014 averaged CO2 emissions of 123g/km, according to the How Cleans are Europe's cars 2015? report, real-world emissions are much higher and reductions in CO2 are happening considerably slower than depicted. Now T&E is warning that the cheating will continue to undermine progress even after a new test, the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP), is introduced.
This paper has been prepared by T&E in response to the consultation from HM Treasury on the review into the impact of the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) on vehicle excise duty and company car tax.
The very first tests of cars’ ‘real-world’ CO2 emissions have revealed gaps between official and actual emissions of 36-56% – very similar to those of other on-road fuel efficiency databases. Three models were tested by PSA Peugeot Citroën, under a protocol devised with T&E, on public roads near Paris with passengers, luggage loads, use of air conditioning and other real-life driving conditions.
Three quarters of a ‘Dirty 30’ list of cars with suspicious emissions behaviour compiled by Transport & Environment (T&E) were approved for sale in Europe by the ‘home’ national authorities. These type approval authorities refuse to take any action to bring carmakers to account, instead blaming Brussels for ‘vague’ legal definitions.
A study claiming that electric vehicle produce more carbon emissions than a diesel car has been promptly debunked by academics and experts in Germany, where it was published last month. The Institute for Economic Research (Ifo) was roundly criticised over its findings which were founded on a relatively high weighting of coal generation in Germany’s power mix.
Carmakers can exploit loopholes in the EU’s new CO2 emissions targets to push sales of fake plug-in hybrid cars over EVs with no tailpipe emissions, T&E has warned. The law credits manufacturers for selling EVs but leaves room for gaming. This could allow carmakers to supply half of all the ´zero and low-emission’ cars needed to comply with stricter CO2 limits with fake ‘electric’ cars.
A German television company has unearthed documentation that suggests Volkswagen is involved in a new ‘Dieselgate’ scandal. The documents allegedly show that VW has put software in the Euro 6 engine series which replaced the Dieselgate Euro 5 engine series found to have manipulated emissions. VW denies the claim. The allegations came as T&E published data on the fourth anniversary of Dieselgate which shows the number of dirty diesels is reaching record levels on Europe’s roads.
Carmakers are manipulating the results of a new test for CO2 emissions, evidence uncovered by the European Commission indicates. The new lab-based WLTP test was supposed to fix the testing problems that in the past allowed manufacturers to cheat EU emissions targets. But Commission documents indicate the industry is manipulating the new test results to inflate the CO2/fuel economy results of its vehicles. This will reduce the stringency of the EU’s proposed 2025 CO2 targets by more than half.
The current system for testing car CO2 emissions and fuel economy, the NEDC, is obsolete. Thankfully, a new test, the WLTP, is scheduled to replace the NEDC in 2017. To do this, the average CO2 emissions target for cars (95 g/km for 2020/1) needs to be revised in a way that maintains “equivalent stringency” between the tests.