ACEA wants more clarity behind rules, but Volkswagen, Peugeot-Citroën and Fiat Chrysler welcome change

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has voiced concerns over a switch to a new real driving emissions (RDE) test in Europe.

In a new statement today, the ACEA has called for more information, “so manufacturers can plan the development and design of vehicles in line with the new RDE requirements”.

The European Parliament will vote tomorrow on whether the new system is implemented. If it is, it’ll replace the current laboratory-based testing system, which is part of the New European Driving Cycle.

With RDE, new cars will be subjected to testing that better reflects how cars are driven in public, in a bid to make emissions data more reflective of true emissions output.

The knock-on effect is that it should also prevent manufacturers from developing software that recognises it is being tested, as seen with the recent Volkswagen emissions scandal.

Despite a widely acknowledged need for change, the ACEA believes rapid adjustments to legislation could harm the industry. “Looking at the timescale for RDE, the proposal represents a tremendous challenge for Europe’s car manufacturers in terms of timing and investments,” said ACEA secretary general Erik Jonnaert.

Timing issues aside, the ACEA does at least support a move to real-world emissions testing, and its feelings are matched by several of the industry’s biggest players.

When contacted by Autocar, PSA Peugeot-Citroën reiterated that its statement from late last year still stands, saying: “PSA is ready, with our diesel engines equipped with SCR technology and our petrol engines, to apply RDE with our Euro 6.2 vehicles as from September 2017 as foreseen by the member state’s decision.”

Fiat Chrysler offered a similar response, stating that it would welcome changes to the tests and that it too was ready to conform as it has long been testing cars for the real world.

Earlier today, the Italian-American carmaker released its own statement distancing itself from the VW emissions scandal. It said real-world testing wouldn’t change the results of its cars because “the emission control systems of the FCA vehicles operate in the same way under the same conditions, whether the vehicle is in a laboratory or on the road”.

In a Transport Select Committee meeting last month, VW UK boss Paul Willis emphasised his company’s viewpoint for a new test. He said the German car maker has been campaigning for a more realistic test since 2010 – five years before the emissions scandal.

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Comments
8

2 February 2016
It is a widely known fact today that the real life MPG of all or most cars is 20 to 30 per cent too optimistic. How are the car makers going to comply with the ever tightening emissions regulations in case the tests are made to reflect real life driving conditions? So far they have been tweaking their cars to perform better in labs illegal software or not. How are they going to come up in one year with solutions to meet the real life MPG tests?

2 February 2016
Why do manufacturers need time to plan for RDE tests, I thought that was the whole idea of tests, nothing 'special' to get round the tests

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

2 February 2016
Why do manufacturers need time to plan for RDE tests, I thought that was the whole idea of tests, nothing 'special' to get round the tests

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

3 February 2016
Cos they've been fiddling this for years..

3 February 2016
They're concerned because they all know emissions and fuel consumption figures will plunge overnight as soon as the RDE tests are implemented. The goalposts are being moved and they need time to make their products look less rubbish.

Car anoraks like us know what's going on but much of the buying public will ask "why is that Fiat 500 now 125 g/km, yesterday it was 115 g/km?" That's a problem.


3 February 2016
But here in the UK, most of the car road tax bandings will increase - and the extremely difficult task for manufacturers of achieving a fleet average CO2 figure of 95gm/km will become impossible. No wonder the car makers are not to keen!

3 February 2016
In 2017 the UK is moving away from a CO2 road tax it is replaced by a flat rate of £140 after the first year +£310 for cars costing over £40K. For the emissions test it would make sense to set the targets in recognition of the new method of testing. Over time this can be tightened. In the first instance there are probably some clean air laws that would need to be met to comply now. Speed of action and clarity must be the driving factors. Just get on with it.

3 February 2016
Its true that real world Co2 emissions are higher, and that MPG are lower.. all n percentage terms say 20% to 30%.
However I hope the new rules punish the diesels that dont make it in terms of Nox emssions. It was the Nox emissions of 200-300% more in real life that was the root of the VW diesel scandal in US..

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