End of mpg fid­dles

Stirling Observer - - HOUSE HOME -

which mea­sures all reg­u­lated emis­sions, as well as CO2 and fuel econ­omy.

And in a world first, new mod­els be­ing de­vel­oped for sale in Bri­tain will also need to prove their air qual­ity cre­den­tials by pass­ing a brand new Real Driv­ing Emis­sions (RDE) test us­ing spe­cial state-of-the-art por­ta­ble emis­sions mea­sure­ment (PEMS) equip­ment.

This very sen­si­tive equip­ment analy­ses the trace tailpipe emis­sions of pol­lu­tants, in­clud­ing NOX and par­tic­u­lates, while the car is driven in a wide range of both ev­ery-day and ex­treme con­di­tions.

It is de­signed to en­sure ve­hi­cles meet the tough Euro 6 emis­sions stan­dard on the road as well as in the lab where the WLTP eval­u­a­tion will still be car­ried out.

Mike Hawes, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the So­ci­ety of Mo­tor Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Traders, said: “These new and de­mand­ing tests will soon give con­sumers emis­sions per­for­mance in­for­ma­tion that is far closer to what they ex­pe­ri­ence be­hind the wheel – and in­spire greater con­fi­dence that the new cars they buy are not only the cleanest, but the most fuel ef­fi­cient ever pro­duced.”

He added: “We wel­come this chal­leng­ing new regime, which will pro­vide hard ev­i­dence that the in­dus­try’s on­go­ing in­vest­ment in ever more ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy is de­liv­er­ing on air qual­ity goals.”

A num­ber of car com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Ford, Vaux­hall and Audi have re­cently in­tro­duced ‘scrap­page’ schemes of­fer­ing huge dis­counts on new mod­els to own­ers who trade in ve­hi­cles which do not com­ply with the lat­est emis­sion stan­dards.

Sales of diesel cars have also slumped in the past few months as con­cerns grow over air pol­lu­tion.

The WLTP and RDE tests re­place the pre­vi­ous and long-out­dated lab­o­ra­tory test known as the New Euro­pean Driv­ing Cy­cle (NEDC), which was de­signed back in the 1980s and last up­dated in 1997.

Rev­o­lu­tion­ary in its day, NEDC was in­tended to pro­vide con­sis­tent bench­mark­ing in­for­ma­tion for buy­ers across Europe as well as de­ter­min­ing whether cars meet min­i­mum air qual­ity stan­dards.

It also pro­vided the ba­sis for the UK’s CO2 based Ve­hi­cle Ex­cise Duty sys­tem which was up­dated in April this year, set­ting new emis­sion thresh­olds for the next four years.

The WLDC process analy­ses a ve­hi­cle’s per­for­mance over a longer dis­tance and time, at higher av­er­age speeds and also in­cludes vari­a­tions in gear­ing and more rapid ac­cel­er­a­tion and de­cel­er­a­tion pat­terns.

It will be car­ried out on all new mod­els in­clud­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cle and plug-in hy­brids.

While that test will still be done un­der con­trolled con­di­tions, it will be com­ple­mented by the on-road RDE test which will en­sure the ve­hi­cle’s lab test per­for­mance is matched in ev­ery­day con­di­tions.

It uses a por­ta­ble sys­tem at­tached to the ex­haust which mea­sures emis­sions while the ve­hi­cle is driven on the road.

Some car mak­ers, no­tably Peu­geot, have al­ready been car­ry­ing out such test­ing and pub­lish­ing the data.

RDE will also in­clude ex­treme driv­ing con­di­tions, rarely en­coun­tered by most mo­torists, for ex­am­ple car­ry­ing a heavy load up a steep hill at high speed in very low tem­per­a­tures.

Only when a ve­hi­cle meets these re­quire­ments, as in­de­pen­dently wit­nessed by a gov­ern­ment-ap­pointed in­de­pen­dent ap­proval agency, will it be ap­proved for sale in Europe.

On test spe­cial equip­ment records the mpg of new mod­els

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