Real-world emissions testing will be introduced in London and Paris by the end of 2017 to help score new cars based on how environmentally friendly they are, encouraging their uptake and reducing air pollution in cities.
The decision was made in a meeting between London Mayor Sadiq Khan and his Parisian counterpart Anne Hidalgo, along with senior city officials and representatives of several major car manufacturers.
Current emissions testing only regulate some pollutants and require vehicles to meet the standards in laboratory conditions, but the new scheme will score each model score based on all of the air pollutants they release in on-road conditions. These scores will then be made available online to consumers through dedicated websites.
The Volkswagen dieselgate scandal has heightened awareness of current tests' shortcomings, leading many to call for a radical rethink of how emissions are measured.
Mayor Hidalgo announced a commitment with various charitable foundations to work with the International Council on Clean Transportation and experts Emissions Analytics to measure emissions using remote sensors and portable emissions monitoring equipment.
Mayor Khan said: “By having ‘on the road’ testing I believe we will help Londoners make an informed choice and incentivise manufacturers to build cleaner vehicles sooner.
“This scheme is also a fantastic example of how big cities around the world can pool their expertise and their influence to encourage big industry to clean up its act. The toxicity of the air in London and many other big cities is an outrage, and schemes of the type we are introducing in London and Paris have the potential to make a massive difference to the quality of the air we all breathe.”
Other cities part of the C40 climate leadership group have also committed to developing a global scoring system. These cities include Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, Oslo, Seoul and Tokyo.
London is introducing a £10 'T-charge' for high polluting vehicles in the city from this autumn, while Khan has also proposed introducing the world's first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London in 2019.