People, Environment

EU Emissions Tests Misleading

EU Emissions Tests MisleadingEU Emissions Tests Misleading

The International Council on Clean Transportation has said that in the European Union, the gap between official vehicle carbon dioxide emissions and real-world results continues to grow. It claims there is no real improvement in sight.

A fresh ICCT report out Friday said it was concerned at a rapidly growing gap in the EU between vehicle carbon dioxide emissions measured in the lab and emissions levels found in on-road tests, DW reported.

“For an average consumer, the gap now translates into additional fuel expenses on the order of €450 ($501) per year,” the research council said on its website, adding that the discrepancy might also lead to significant losses of tax revenue and a misallocation of public funds as vehicle taxation schemes and incentives programs for low-carbon cars were based on official carbon dioxide values.

The ICCT report identified a number of reasons for the gap, which it said had grown from just 8% in 2001 to 38% in 2014.

“Flexibilities in the type-approval procedure allow for unrealistically low driving resistances during laboratory testing,” it stated.

It stressed that lab tests also failed to take into consideration auxiliary devices such as air conditioning and entertainment systems, which consumed energy during real-world driving and thus contributed to the gap.

The key implication of the study is the urgent need for improved test procedures. But the ICCT warned that a new type-approval scheme to be implemented across the EU in 2017 (WLTP for Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure) would not close the existing gap on its own. It said frequent on-road tests would have to be carried out to get more reliable results.