Euro 6 villains and clean air heroes in latest emissions tests
Latest emissions tests from Emissions Analytics have revealed that some Euro 6 compliant diesels produce up to 12 times agreed pollution levels while others meet the official targets perfectly.
Emissions Analytics, a vehicle emissions testing specialist based in the UK with offices in Germany and the US, produces a comprehensive Air Quality Index which measures the pollution levels of the current generation of road cars.
The latest Index revealed that Euro 6 compliant vehicles continue to deliver drastically different results when tested in the real world compared to their official published figures.
With diesel vehicles attracting adverse publicity for being the most polluting and the most harmful to health, the latest results showed that it is wrong for car buyers to assume that all Euro 6 cars are equal in terms of producing harmful emissions.
The latest Index included Euro 6 compliant models from four different vehicle manufacturers: BMW, Ford, Land Rover and Maserati. The results showed a wide variation with some vehicles that had emission levels that met the official target levels, while others emitted up to 12 times over the Euro 6 limit.
The cleanest new vehicles included the BMW 520d automatic and the Mercedes C220d automatic which produced levels of NOx (nitrogen oxides) in line with official figures. However, the BMW 216d Active Tourer recorded the second-highest band of pollution, equating to roughly 8-12 times the Euro 6 limit.
Once again, petrol models included in the test performed far better than diesel, with all new models hitting the top mark for air quality, except one which was only one band adrift.
The new Air Quality Index also included the latest petrol hybrid models from Lexus and Toyota, all of which produced emissions results that were in line with legislation targets.
To date, all Euro 6 hybrid vehicles assessed by Emissions Analytics have produced real-world results in line with the official figures.
These latest results underline the fact that, with the proper development work, all cars can cut harmful NOX emissions, says Emissions Analytics.
Nick Molden, CEO and founder, said: “There’s no way of predicting how a car will perform, as engine size, badge or even type of car are no solid guide.
“This continuing variance between official and real-world figures not only means that car buyers remain in the dark, but any scheme using these official figures as a guide to help reduce air pollution is doomed to fail.
“We urge government and policy makers to consider real-world test results as critical in tackling the issues that can have a serious impact on health,” he added.
Diesel is at the centre of an ongoing controversy over the future of fuels, with many vehicle manufacturers arguing that the latest Euro 6 models offer a clean future for diesel.
However, the historic diesel emissions scandal involving Volkswagen plus a string of negative stories about the health impact of diesel emissions are currently affecting fleet decision-making.
For example, in the UK, a survey of 200 fleet operators showed that more companies are putting petrol cars back on their choice lists, although diesel still remains the dominant fuel throughout the fleet industry.
The ExpertEye Fleet Industry Review, produced in association with Professor Colin Tourick from the University of Buckingham, showed that 99% of fleets surveyed still offered diesel, while 67% offered petrol, compared to a historic average of around only 40%.
The Review said: “We have seen more companies putting petrol-engined cars back onto their fleet lists, or where drivers themselves have decided to opt for petrol.
“Manufacturers have risen well to the challenge of reducing the CO2 output of petrol-engined cars, as a result of which many of today’s modern petrol-fuelled cars are much lighter, with smaller and more powerful engines than was the case only a few years ago.
“It is likely we will see a greater penetration of these vehicles in future, with diesel representing a gradually declining percentage of the vehicles in corporate fleets.
“More than a third of respondents expected to see a reduction in diesel in the next two years, with electric, electric range-extended and hybrid engines gaining in popularity. And a significant number of respondents believe that petrol will be making a comeback.”
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