Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Transport

Study: The Stricter The Emissions Testing Requirements In The EU, The More Testing Results Diverged From Real-World Results

police-diesel-carWhile the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal has been the face of insufficient emissions levels enforcement in the EU in the past year, the problem is a wide-ranging one involving nearly every manufacturer operating in Europe.

While most manufacturers have (apparently) not been brazen and arrogant enough to use “defeat devices” as obviously deceiving as Volkswagen has, the problems with testing standards are substantial. Official fuel economy figures, for instance, very rarely match up with real-world figures.

This disparity has been growing in recent years, with stricter regulations leading directly to an increased gap between reality and official testing results, according to new research from Toulouse School of Economics Professor Mathias Reynaert and UC Berkeley Professor James Sallee.

In other words, stricter emissions standards haven’t led to notable improvements, but rather have resulted in many manufacturers working to game the system to avoid the costly (both with regard to margins and to market share) changes that would be required to reduce pollution levels.

Green Car Reports provides more: “The researchers used data from Dutch fuel-card service Travelcard to estimate real-world fuel economy and emissions, and then compared their figures to official ratings. They found that real-world results were higher than official ratings across the board. In 2004, real-world fuel consumption averaged 10% higher than official ratings, but that gap increased to around 40% over the past 5 years. Reynaert believes the increasing disparity between laboratory and real-world results indicates that virtually all carmakers are cheating on emissions tests.”

Continuing: “He notes that the widening of the gap roughly corresponds with the introduction of stricter European Union emissions standards in 2007. The New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) testing protocol also leaves plenty of room for carmakers to cheat, he argues. This isn’t the first time the NEDC has been accused of being too lenient.”

Damning findings. But I can’t imagine that they’ll lead to any real changes. There are too many entrenched interests in positions of power. If real change is going to come, it’ll have to be the result of companies like Tesla, Uber, etc., changing the nature of the auto industry and market, rather than from top-down decrees.

That said, if there was to be a real push to implement serious testing standards in the EU, I certainly wouldn’t complain. But I’m not expecting Germany or France to ever do so.

Image by Mic (some rights reserved)

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


You May Also Like

Climate Change

Fossil fuel companies have plans for 190 carbon bombs that would add massive amounts of new carbon emissions to the atmosphere.

Clean Transport

Funding for California’s VW Mitigation Trust is ongoing. Find out more about the project types and how to apply. Courtesy of California Air Resources...

Clean Transport

New rules will help end the emissions scandal that allowed carmakers to use PHEVs to weaken EU climate targets. PHEV emissions in reality are...


Sales of electric cars are rising in the UK, which has led to a drop in carbon emissions from the transportation sector.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.