Europe: automakers weary of new tests concerning diesel cars image

European carmakers have started criticizing an upcoming regulation that would target the so-called “dirty diesels”, with each car equipped with the type of engine required to undergo “real world” testing procedures.

After September 2017, the new mandate will have diesel vehicles sold in the European Union tested on the roads instead of the usual laboratory treatment. The latter have been heavily panned by environmental and consumer groups because they can be manipulated to lower the real level of potentially harmful emissions and fuel economy. Industry association ACEA has voiced concern over the new tests that would have the automakers totally change the testing and development procedures for their new models – especially since the regulation is not yet complete. The association said the automakers would only make the changes once the new test cycle is compelling and clear. The lobby group, which includes the major automakers active on the European market, believes the current mandate is not complete because of a lack of a comprehensive set of requirements; specified performance limits; or a date of application because even the September 2017 timeframe has not been made law by the EU.

Vehicles powered by diesel engines are highly popular in Europe, having a market share of around half of new vehicle deliveries – on the continent fuel is expensive and typically diesel cars are 15 to 20 percent more fuel efficient than comparable gasoline engines. While the better fuel consumption lowers Co2 emissions, diesels also emit more nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter that are known to cause serious health problems.

Via Automotive News Europe