EU tightens car emissions testing to curb air pollution

EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

Internal Market and Industry Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska arrives for the start of the weekly meeting of the European Commission in Brussels, December 21, 2016.

Car manufacturers motivated to sell and export environment-friendly, internationally competitive cars


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EU Member States meeting in the Technical Committee of Motor Vehicles on December 20 voted by a large majority on the latest Commission proposal to curb air pollution with Real Driving Emissions (RDE) testing, the Commission said in a press release.

“This is very good news. The Commission’s determination to make car emissions testing increasingly robust is paying off,” Internal Market and Industry Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska said.

“Car manufacturers should seize the opportunity to sell and export environment-friendly and internationally competitive cars. They should design cars with lower particle emissions and introduce the necessary filters in petrol cars that are already widely used for diesel. Public health is at stake. We have no time to lose,” Bieńkowska said.

According to the European Commission, the third package of implementing measures on real driving emissions tests (RDE Act 3) will extend on-the-road tests to cover particle number (PN) emissions.

In practice, this means all petrol vehicles with direct injection systems will need to introduce Gasoline Particle Filters (GPF) to reach the particle limits under real driving tests, which will apply from September 2017 for new vehicle types and by September 2018 for all new vehicles. RDE Act 3 also fine-tunes the testing methods to take into account that short city trips starting with a cold engine account for most city pollution, and will make the real-world emission performance of a car more transparent to its owner, the Commission said.

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