Currently reading: European Commission set to push through real-world emissions tests
Autocar understands EU will put proposals to Technical Committee for Motor Vehicles on October 6; could come in to force in 2016
Jim Holder
News
3 mins read
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.”

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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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bowsersheepdog 26 September 2015

Arse up'rds

Let's face it, nobody in the real world drives like they do in the test environment. Nobody sticks exactly to the speed limit, presses the throttle just enough to hold their speed steady, resists accelerating past the wagon in front, refuses to use the aircon in sweltering temperatures. Nobody does those things on an everyday basis. Or any of the other little tricks the specialist economy drivers use. Hence nobody in the real world is going to get the very best fuel consumption that is theoretically possible. So what the test should do is go the other way. Take the cars out on a track and tell the drivers to rag them round for an hour like their hair is on fire, as JC would phrase it. Turn on everything electrical and rev their nuts off. Then publish the figures and tell the prospective customers that's the worst mileage they're ever going to get out of the car. Nearly everyone is certain to better the figure, so nobody is being promised something they can't achieve themselves. Yet it still gives as much indication of the comparative differences between cars as does the current system.
concinnity 25 September 2015

The USA & PSA

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.
Safari 26 September 2015

Perhaps PSA could take over VW

In a few months VW and all it's companies with be almost worthless and would be a great opportunity for PSA to purchase. How ironic- the French owning Audi!!
xxxx 24 September 2015

emmm ideas

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.
Adrian987 24 September 2015

To clarify

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.

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