EU pushes on with real driving emission tests

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The European Commission is pushing ahead with plans to introduce a new Real Driving Emission (RDE) test procedure early in 2016, in the wake of the revelation that Volkswagen has been rigging laboratory-based tests of diesel cars in the US.

The commission said it recognised that the current system of measure emissions for light duty vehicles on a laboratory test cycle does not reflect the emissions of vehicles in normal driving conditions.

In a FAQ on the issue, the commission said: “Currently nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions of diesel vehicles measured on the road may in reality exceed substantially the emissions measured on the regulatory test cycle (NEDC), though in most cases probably in line with the applicable legislation.”

The new procedure was voted on in May 2015 by the Technical Committee for Motor Vehicles.

Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs, said in a statement: “Looking ahead, we count on member states to swiftly agree on the final measures needed so that measurements of air pollutant emissions used for the delivery of a vehicle’s type approval reflect emissions in real driving conditions and cannot be fooled by deceitful applications.

“A new Real Driving Emission (RDE) test procedure will be phased in from early 2016, complementing the current laboratory based testing. But we still need to find agreement on the type approval treatment in case of major divergence between the results of the laboratory and real driving pollutant emissions tests. The agreement on this package, in addition to the already adopted RDE test procedures, will allow the EU to have ambitious and robust real driving emissions testing scheme in place.”

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