Today’s vote by the European Parliament is good news for consumers and for environmental protection. Real Driving Emissions (RDE) measurement of exhaust from road traffic will give customers more clarity and reliability. In addition, the RDE requirements will accelerate renewal of the fleet with Euro 6 vehicles that have especially low pollutant emissions, and thus improve the air quality. For example, a study by the AVISO research institute in Aachen in cooperation with Graz University of Technology and IFEU, the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Heidelberg, shows that the air quality targets in towns and cities can be achieved through normal fleet replacement with Euro 6 vehicles. After today’s decision, RDE can enter into force as early as next year, which will bring rapid progress in reducing emissions.
The German automotive industry is keen to provide realistic values for the consumption and emissions of its models as soon as possible. Therefore for years we have been in favor of both measurements in road traffic and those using the new laboratory tests called Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP).
The requirements dictate that from September 2017, the output of nitrogen oxides from new passenger car types under real-world driving conditions may not exceed 2.1 times the statutory laboratory value of 80 mg/km (conformity factor). From 2020 onward, new vehicle types must keep within the limit values for the laboratory bench tests even while on the road (conformity factor of 1). Then the only extra margin allowed will be 0.5 for measuring inaccuracies. These requirements are very ambitious and mean reducing pollutants by 78 percent in comparison with today’s fleet. Many of these vehicles are either already on the market or their development is already complete so it was not possible to design them to satisfy the new legislation.