The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has panned The Real Urban Emissions (TRUE) Initiative, describing its claims as ‘misleading’.
The TRUE Initiative, involving the International Council on Clean Transportation, FIA Foundation, Global NCAP, Transport & Environment and C40 Cities, claimed that even new diesel cars were failing to meet emissions standards set by the European Union, based on real-world emissions readings.
Data was collected between 2011 and 2017, so Euro 6d-compliant vehicles were missed from the collection. Euro 6d came into effect in September 2017, but many media outlets reporting the study's findings have failed to mention this fact.
A total of 4850 car models were tested under the scheme, using a remote sensor that detects emissions by shining a beam of light through exhaust gases.
A green rating given by the TRUE Initiative signifies less than 90mg/km of NOx, yellow represents between 90 and 190mg/km and red is given to cars emitting more than 180mg/km.
The TRUE Initiative claims that around 750,000 records were kept, and of this 750,000, just 9% of Euro 6 diesel cars were not given a red rating, while none were given a green rating.
Not one Euro 5, 4 or 3-standard car was given a yellow or green rating.
For petrol cars, 63% of Euro 6 cars achieved a green rating, with the remaining 37% gaining yellow ratings. For Euro 5 petrol models, 55% were rated green, 41% yellow and 4% red. Euro 4 petrols got 28% green, 64% yellow and 8% red, while just 3% of Euro 3 petrols were given green ratings, with 53% rated yellow and 44% red.
ACEA secretary general Erik Jonnaert said: “EU policy-makers will be equally disappointed that there is no acknowledgement that the latest Euro 6 diesel cars complying with the new RDE [Real Driving Emissions] legislation are very clean.”
“As all cars tested as part of this TRUE Initiative were pre-Euro 6d vehicles, the fact that they do not meet emissions requirements that only became mandatory after they were put on the market is not surprising.”
Autocar has approached the TRUE Initiative for comment.