The European Commission will begin requiring that new vehicles be tested under “real world” conditions starting in 2017, according to recent reports.
What this means is vehicle emissions testing will now involve mandatory on-road testing via portable emissions measurement systems. This will mark the first time that nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are being measured outside of lab conditions in the region.
While notable improvements have been made in recent years with regard to reducing NOx emissions, the new requirements should help speed up the rate of improvement even further. For some further detail on that, it’s worth noting that recent test data clearly shows a wide discrepancy between lab emissions testing of many vehicles and actual real-world emissions. (Perhaps Volkswagen’s antics in the US have had precedence in Europe for some time now.)
A recent press release provides more:
In a recent project sponsored by the London Sunday Times, for example, Emissions Analytics data shows that Euro 6 diesel cars actually produced NOx emissions 4.4 times higher than the legal European Commission standards. Nevertheless it was a significant improvement over last year’s International Council on Clean Transportation report showing that Euro 6 diesels produced NOx emissions that were on average 7.1 times higher than legal limits.
Nick Molden, CEO of UK-based Emissions Analytics, notes that the call for “real-world” emissions data actually could spark further meaningful reductions in vehicle emissions.
“Our research indicates that Euro 6 diesel passenger-car engines have shown a 49% reduction in NOx emissions compared to Euro 5 diesels,” he stated. “We believe auto makers anticipated the tougher requirements and really stepped up their game with regard to emissions. The early results are encouraging, yet we also feel they are mixed.”
“We think this is a good decision by the European Commission and member states,” Molden continued. “We started testing tailpipe emissions on the road 4 years ago. Based on our test results, we’ve felt strongly that this is the only way to truly understand real-world performance. It is good to see this method is now being recognized as a result of the action taken by the commission. However, compliance will need to be monitored especially throughout the life of the vehicle.”
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