London Mayor Sadiq Khan yesterday launched a new online Cleaner Vehicle Checker, designed to make it easier for motorists to assess the real world emissions released by new vehicles.
Launched just days ahead of next week’s introduction of a £10 Toxicity Charge, which will be levelled on the most polluting vehicles entering central London from next Monday, the new free online service is intended to help motorists who are considering buying a new car select the cleanest models.
The Mayor’s Office said the tracker would provide an independent rating of nearly all new Euro 6 standard cars and many of the vans being sold in UK showrooms. It will each model an A+ to H grade based on how they performed in independent, real world, on-road testing.
The auto industry has been under fire from campaigners since the so-called diesel-gate scandal revealed both the use of cheat devices by auto giant Volkswagen to game emissions tests and a wider disconnect between laboratory testing of new vehicle emissions and real world emissions.
“We are days away from the start of the new T-Charge in central London and with sales of diesel cars falling, motorists are more aware than ever about the pollution levels of the cars they drive,” said Khan. “Our toxic air is a shameful health crisis and London motorists deserve to know how much filthy emissions new cars may produce before they purchase them.
“The Cleaner Vehicle Checker will help provide the accurate and independent information Londoners need to make informed choices and opt for cleanest vehicles.”
The testing has been carried out by research firm Emissions Analytics using Portable Emissions Measurement Systems (PEMS) and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) using roadside testing.
Nick Molden, chief executive of Emissions Analytics, said the move to use PEMS and real-world emissions data to rate the cleanest cars was “a hugely important step in tackling the issue of urban air quality”.
“London is leading the way in taking this common-sense approach and… will help car buyers make informed decisions, rather than simply replying on inaccurate official figures,” he added.