An EC proposal for ‘real world’ air pollution tests for vans and cars was agreed last week by member states to provide a more accurate procedure for measuring vehicle emissions.
New proposals will require vehicles to be tested on the road and in traffic, rather than in laboratory-like conditions as is currently the case, which should provide more precise NOx emissions data for diesel light-duty vehicles under Euro-6 air quality standards.
EC and member states need to agree the limits for the real-world tests and whether they can be introduced by 2017. This will be alongside existing EC plans to bring in a new, more accurate CO2 test cycle in 2017 – the World Light Duty Test Procedure.
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has welcomed the plans.
“Air pollution is a major threat to public health, so it is vital that we can accurately measure the part played by road transport, particularly diesel vehicles,” said BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney.
“Over the years, the fleet sector has made excellent progress in driving down CO2 emissions. I am convinced that it can have a similar impact on NOx emissions if it is given accurate information and an appropriate tax regime.”
He added that the agreement is an “important milestone” in helping Europe deal with road transport-based air pollution.
The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has expressed concern over the lack of detail in the new testing proposals. It is urging the EC to deliver a complete proposal by June or July to allow manufacturers enough lead time to implement any changes.
ACEA secretary general said: “We need to make more progress on clarifying all testing conditions to ensure a robust Real Driving Emissions regulation could commence from September 2017. We need clarity in advance so that we can plan the development and design of vehicles in line with new requirements.”
The association said it will work closely with the EC to help develop the new testing regime.