The bottom line: cars are not as fuel efficient as claimed — they cause a lot more pollution than is typically assumed and advertised.
The study was actually performed by three consultants and was quite rigorous.
Reuters writes: ”CO2 emissions were 167.2 grams per kilometer (g/km) in 2002 and 140.4 g/km by 2010, figures in the report showed, giving a total average reduction across new EU cars of 26.8 g/km. The study attributed 9.1 g/km, or roughly a third, to the way testing was performed, rather than improved technology.”
The good news is that there’s work in progress to address some of the loopholes.
In addition to the 2020 goal, the Commission is revising testing law, but it is not expected to close all the loopholes. Globally, the United Nations is working on new standards.
“The Commission said new tests from around 2016 should “mitigate” the effect of these flexibilities on the gap between actual and regulatory CO2 emissions, though “some tolerances are necessary for practical reasons”.
However, in the meantime, the “cheating of the system” is costing consumers a bit of their hard-earned money — up to €135 ($180) a year in additional fuel costs.
“The cheats are confounding the lawmakers and deceiving the public,” said European Parliament Chris Davies.
Let’s hope the loopholes are soon corrected. The general problem has actually been quite well known for awhile, but now that it has been officially studied and quantified, there may be enough of a spark to get the correction engine running. We’ll see. In the meantime, there are always bikes, transit, and trains!
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.