FuelsEurope director John Cooper presented the results of the study, commissioned from the British air quality intelligence provider Aeris, which based its modelling on real driving emissions data provided by the engineering and environmental consultancy Ricardo, which used its own tests of Euro 6 compliant diesel cars.
The Euro standard sets per-kilometre limits on exhaust pipe pollutants other than CO2, which is dealt with on other legislation. Since the Euro 3 standard – the first where NOx was treated separately – was introduced at the turn of the century, the limit for diesel cars has fallen from 500mg per kilometre to 80mg under the current Euro 6, although a ‘conformity factor’ currently allows measured pollution to exceed this level by 110%.
This correction – to allow for presumed inadequacies in fledgeling on-road emissions tests that became compulsory in September in the wake of ‘dieselgate’ scandal – are due to be phased out by 2023 at the latest.
“Our concern is that the focus has all been about increasing tightness in new vehicle standards,” said Fuels Europe director John Cooper. In fact, there have already been calls for a stricter Euro 7 standard, including a recent open letter from the mayors of ten European capitals who also urged a switch to zero-emissions vehicles within two decades.