Latest diesel cars emit low on-road pollutant emissions, contrary to recent misleading claims

Brussels, 6 June 2018 – Contrary to misleading claims in a new report, the latest Euro 6d diesel cars emit low pollutant emissions on the road under the new Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test, which came into application in September 2017.

Under RDE, a car is driven on public roads over a wide range of conditions using portable measuring equipment. RDE complements the lab test, WLTP, to ensure that pollutant emission levels measured during the laboratory test are confirmed on the road.

“The claims from the new ‘TRUE’ study are misleading for consumers,” stated Erik Jonnaert, Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). “EU policy makers will be equally disappointed that there is no acknowledgement that the latest Euro 6 diesel cars complying with the new RDE legislation are very clean.”

The claims made in this study are based on ‘remote sensing’ results collected between 2011 and 2017. They therefore do not evaluate the on-road performance of the latest diesel vehicles approved to the Euro 6d standard since September 2017.

Jonnaert: “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.”

The automobile industry has invested heavily to achieve significant improvements in emissions from RDE-compliant Euro 6 vehicles. Recent studies* have shown that these new diesel cars effectively deliver very low pollutant emissions not only in the laboratory, but also on the road. Indeed, the data from the newest Euro 6d diesel cars tested under the rigorous RDE test paint a very positive picture.

Research by FuelsEurope and the Association for Emissions Control by Catalyst (AECC) also shows that the latest generation of diesel vehicles will continue to play a major role in helping reach future CO2 targets. Likewise, these vehicles will also have a positive impact on improving air quality, along with other local measures, in areas where exceedance of NO2 remains a concern.

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Notes for editors

The TRUE study involved the ICCT, FIA Foundation, Global NCAP, Transport & Environment (T&E) and C40 cities.

This study claims to cover 90% of the EU-registered cars by having scanned 4,850 vehicle models. While remote sensing is a promising technology, there still remain many concerns about how and where it can be used to ensure that:

  • the emissions performance of passing cars are correctly assessed in the fraction of time that it takes to make such a scan; and
  • the result for a certain car is attributed correctly to that car within the confines of EU data protection law.

The ranking of vehicles based on several scans of less than one second in duration can only give a snapshot of a car’s emissions performance. In this respect, these results should be considered only in relation to other on-road measurement techniques.

* ADAC, Nur noch geringer Stickoxid-Ausstoß bei neuesten Diesel-Modellen, 23 April 2018, https://presse.adac.de/meldungen/adac-ev/technik/nur-noch-geringer-stickoxid-ausstoss-bei-neuesten-diesel-modellen.html.

About ACEA

  • ACEA represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco, Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Group, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • More information can be found on www.acea.be or @ACEA_eu.
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, cm@acea.be, +32 2 738 73 45 or +32 485 88 66 47.

About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.6 million people - or 5.7% of the EU employed population - work in the sector.
  • The 3.3 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent almost 11% of EU manufacturing employment.
  • Motor vehicles account for some €413 billion in tax contributions in the EU15.
  • The sector is also a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe's largest private contributor to R&D, with more than €50 billion invested annually.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of about €90 billion for the EU.