Air Pollution: Commission Tightens Screws on Car Emissions Testing Further

Environmental Protection

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

Member States meeting in the Technical Committee of Motor Vehicles yesterday voted by a large majority on the latest Commission proposal to curb air pollution with Real Driving Emissions (RDE) testing. Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market and Industry, said: “This is very good news. The Commission’s determination to make car emissions testing increasingly robust is paying off. 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.”

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 were applied 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. More information is online here as well as in the FAQs on EU legislation on vehicle type approval and on emissions.