EU further improves car emissions tests

© European Union, 2018/Source: EC - Audiovisual Service/Photo: Lukasz Kobus

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska.

The European Commission has finished its technical follow-up to improve these tests further.


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The European Commission stated that the Member States agreed on the Commission’s latest proposal to strengthen car emissions testing while meeting at the Technical Committee of Motor Vehicles (TCMV).

New and improved car emissions tests became mandatory on September 1, 2017: tests in real driving conditions (Real Driving Emissions – RDE) and an improved laboratory test (World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure – WLTP), the Commission said, adding that now the EC has finished its technical follow-up to improve these tests further.

“By continuously tightening the screws, emissions tests are conducted. We aim to better protect our health and environment, restore consumer confidence, and add yet another incentive for a quick shift to zero-emission vehicles,” Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska said.

According to the Commission, the proposal reduces margins of technical uncertainty in RDE testing, increases emissions checks of cars already in circulation and testing by independent and accredited third parties. It also improves the WLTP procedure by eliminating test flexibilities and introduces on-board fuel and energy consumption monitoring devices, thereby allowing for the first time to compare laboratory results for CO2 emissions with the average real driving situation.

Following the positive vote in comitology, the proposal will be transmitted to the European Parliament and Council for a three-month scrutiny period. It will then be adopted by the Commission and published in the EU Official Journal and would come into force from January 1, 2019.

The Commission noted that continuously improved emissions tests are one of the many EC initiatives for a clean, sustainable, and competitive car industry, including the Commission’s proposal for a fully overhauled type-approval framework that was recently approved by the European Parliament and is expected to be adopted by Council in the coming weeks.

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