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August 31, 2017

‘Real World’ emissions tests come into force tomorrow

By Jonathan Minter

The start of September will mark the beginning of new emissions tests which vehicles will need to pass in order to be considered road legal.

The new test will involve a 90 minute ‘real world’ driving test. According to the government, the test will recreate a mix of urban, countryside and motorway driving.

This is opposed to the lab testing conditions previously used, which involved the use of a rolling road.

The move comes as part of European-wide reforms, which will also see nitrogen oxide emissions requirements for all new car models made stricter from 1 September 2020.

Transport minister Paul Maynard said: “We are taking strong action to clean up our air and these tough new emissions standards will reduce dangerous pollutants.

This government has led the way in Europe pushing for on-road emissions tests, alongside a tough new laboratory test, to clean up air in our towns and cities.

This will ensure all vehicles meet rigorous standards when driven on our roads – and we are going even further tightening requirements again in 2020.”

Old failings

The move came after a number of manufacturing groups were found to have manipulated the old style of emissions tests in various countries.

The most well know example of this was Volkswagen Group’s use of defeat devices in the US. These devices detected when the vehicle as running on a rolling-road in a lab, as opposed to a real road, and altered the vehicle’s engine behaviour.

A UK government diesel testing programme in 2016 found that today’s Euro 6 diesel cars were emitting 6 times more nitrogen dioxide in the real world than in the lab.

The government has promised that, under the reforms, now they will have to slash those emissions by two thirds – helping clean up air in towns and cities across Britain.

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