Autocar understands EU will put proposals to Technical Committee for Motor Vehicles on October 6; could come in to force in 2016
Jim Holder
29 September 2015

The European Commission is set to present its recommendations for heavily revised procedures for vehicle emissions testing next week, Autocar has learned.

A scheduled meeting of the EU’s Technical Committee for Motor Vehicles is due to sit on October 6 and, although the agenda is yet to be made public, the VW emissions scandal is reported to have put a focus on the need to ratify new emissions tests regulations as soon as possible.

Changes to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) tests have been discussed for several years, but discussions between the law makers and car companies over the exact details have resulted in lengthy delays. The NEDC was last updated in 1997. Under NEDC regulations, cars are tested in a laboratory under strict test criteria in order to achieve repeatable results for comparison. However, those results are rarely achievable in real-world driving.

Features of the NEDC that detract from its real-world accuracy include the temperature range in which the test is conducted, which is always between 20 and 30 degrees centigrade, the use of a flat rolling road and the absence of any wind in the test chamber, other than air directed at cooling ducts to simulate speed. The route simulated is a mix of urban and open driving, with the top speed achieved between 90 and 120kph (56-75mph) depending on the size of the vehicle.

Prior to VW the scandal, the Commission was set to finalise proposals for a more realistic test process later this month, with the new regulations coming into force in 2017. However, the VW test rigging controversy is reported to be seen as a catalyst for quicker change, with some reporting that the new tests could even come into force in early 2016.

The new tests are called the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP) and define a global standard for emissions testing. They have been drawn up with consultation from the European Union, Japan, and India under guidelines of UNECE World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations. In conjunction, a new set of standards are also being set under the Real Driving Emissions standard.

PSA Peugeot Citroen and Mercedes led calls for the adoption of tougher, more realistic emissions tests in Europe in the wake of the VW emissions scandal.

A Mercedes statement released in the wake of the VW scandal read: "We actively support the work being done within Europe and Germany in order to develop new testing methods which measure emissions based on real driving conditions."

PSA's statement said: "In the spirit of improving air quality, PSA supports introducing the new procedure WLTP plus RDE from September 2017 in its most demanding version, to replace the current European approval procedure NEDC, which is not representative of real customer use."

The statement also underlined that the PSA group’s vehicles all fully meet regulations at present, and underlined the positive real-world emissions and economy results of its latest range of Euro 6 compliant engines. It read: “PSA’s Research & Development Department reaffirms that PSA complies with the approval procedures in effect in all countries where it operates, and that engine settings, assuming the same conditions of use, are identical whether for approval procedures or in real life.

“Further, PSA notes that the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) system installed on all its Euro 6 diesel vehicles produces variances that are among the lowest in the automotive industry between approved emissions and those arising from customer use.”

Read more on the Volkswagen emissions scandal:

How the Volkswagen story unfolded

How VW's 'defeat device' works

VW board anticipates more top-line casualties

European cars are affected, says German minister

PSA Peugeot Citroën leads calls for tougher emissions test procedures

Your key questions answered

BMW - why the X5 complied with independent US emissions test

Blog - The VW Scandal and the growing dangers of its ripple effect

Blog - VW's scandal has put the entire motor industry under pressure

Blog - Winterkorn pays a high price

Blog - the emissions scandal could sink Volkswagen's US ambitions

Blog - are we about to see the death of diesel?

Blog - VW's US boss faces the music

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Comments
12

24 September 2015
It's the same for all which makes it a comparison tool. I don't see how they can produce fair figures in the real world as no two days are the same on the open road, as are no two drivers, traffic etc

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

24 September 2015
xxxx wrote:

It's the same for all which makes it a comparison tool. I don't see how they can produce fair figures in the real world as no two days are the same on the open road, as are no two drivers, traffic etc

just a comparative tool or is it a test that should to be passed to be safe ? And if it is the latter, then making it so easy to pass, like dumbing down o levels so that everyone has them, surely is not the way to go ? If we need stronger more relevant testing, which seems to be the case why do we have to wait another 2 years ? That would be my question

29 September 2015
xxxx wrote:

It's the same for all which makes it a comparison tool. I don't see how they can produce fair figures in the real world as no two days are the same on the open road, as are no two drivers, traffic etc

It's currently not the same for all. If you look at reported real world results they'll vary from 98% of tested MPG for the more honest manufacturers down to 70-75% for the less honest manufacturers. It's not even achieving that stated purpose of being a fair comparison between cars

Results have to be connected to the real world because that's where they matter. Better a real world test with a 5% variation between test runs than a controlled conditions test with a 0.02% variation between runs that's anything up to 25% off from real world results.

I'm not suggesting any particular course, I'll leave that to the knowledgeable engineers who have the skills to design these tests. Whatever combination of testing and checking setup is produced is probably best off having some element of actual use though. Another purely synthetic test is just an invitation to manipulate it, especially if things like CO2 targets continue to be set based on it.

30 September 2015
They are the same for all, all other figures you give are just speculative, there never be a real world test as it will always be done in a lab. BMW and other German manuafacters will still be top too.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

24 September 2015
Just make the existing lab test stricter and harder to pass, people will still be able to do a comparasion test, not ideal but fair and even to all cars tested. What would be your real world, outside the lab, test be then?

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

24 September 2015
If the half-wit EU technocrats doesn't have the ability to formalise a test that replicates real life driving, they can always borrow the EPA emissions testing regime.

24 September 2015
Some ideas - whatever the revised testing procedures may be, they need to include some "real world" style aggressive acceleration/high engine revs (quite unlike what the current EU cycle requires). Also to include engine starting from "cold" for one result (on basis that this is how many will use their car on a daily basis), and another starting from normal operating temperature for a further result. In addition, hybrids should also have fully charged and fully discharged tests in order to aid comparisons. It is noteworthy that the Whatcar "real world" mpg tests are helpfully presented in a way that allows the user on their website to operate "sliders" to represent the type of motoring they do (congestion, open roads etc). I am sure the official tests could have some equivalent wizardry and a website available to us in this computer age. An app on a gps/accelerometer enabled smartphone could allow a motorist to "record" types of motoring they do in their real world, upload that "data" into the official website, and hey presto, personalised real world result for any model of vehicle they want to look at.

24 September 2015
The problem with people loading their own statistics is you'll end up with a load of fan boys being selective with what and if they choose to upload.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

24 September 2015
xxxx wrote:

The problem with people loading their own statistics is you'll end up with a load of fan boys being selective with what and if they choose to upload.

Good point, but my idea here is not that individual's data becomes available to others, far from it. If I were to go to the website, I would upload my data to get my result, but once I leave the site, my data is not held for anyone else. What I am suggesting is that individuals would be able to see tailored results for themselves only, to help them get some meaningful real world figures for themselves, removing one of the major complaints people have about lab test data/advertised figures. The algorithms embedded in the site would use the core official test data, and with wizardry, use the individual's recorded data to get their personalised expected mpg/emissions or whatever for the vehicle of their choice. I agree, if we were to rely on information uploaded from the general public for use by others, it would be a disaster. I am sure someone with a little computer app development skill could produce an app and make it work in trial form for the Whatcar site. At the moment, I go to the site and move some sliders. The app effectively would do all that for me, based on what actually happens in my real world rather than what I think happens. I can already buy an app that monitors my every move etc when cycling or walking, so should not be too difficult for cars I am sure. So there's a little challenge for someone.

25 September 2015
PSA must dream of what success in the US market would be like. But unfortunately they don't make their cars good enough to be sold there. At least Renault has exposure to the US market through Nissan and Infiniti. But PSA's history in the USA is one of product-led failure abetted by poor factory backup and dealer servicing failure.

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