The briefing paper will set out the actions taken, at the level of the European Union and Member States, and describe changes made to the system for measuring vehicle emissions after September 2015. The auditors did not seek to assess whether the actions taken and proposed have solved the problem, as many of the new rules are not yet fully in force. Their review focused on the measurement of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel cars and also considered the measurement of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The paper is expected to acknowledge the improvements made, but also to highlight a number of remaining challenges that may impact the effective implementation of the changes. The auditors are expected to identify issues including the effectiveness of market surveillance, monitoring the gap between laboratory figures and road emissions, and the new third-party testing.
EU road transport is a major contribution to air pollution through vehicle emissions. For passenger cars, the EU regulates the following air pollutants by setting legal emissions limits: carbon monoxide, total hydrocarbons, non-metal hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. New vehicle models are tested during the type-approval procedure to ensure their emissions do not exceed these legal limits.
In 2015, discrepancies between vehicle emission levels in the laboratory and on the road were brought into sharp focus by the so-called Dieselgate scandal, which revealed that some car makers were using “defeat devices” to produce significantly lower emissions during official tests than during normal driving. This stimulated the EU to accelerate legislative initiatives already underway and to take new action.
The briefing paper will be published on the ECA website eca.europa.eu on Thursday 7 February 2019 at 11.30 a.m. in 23 EU languages.
The press office will hold a technical briefing for the accredited press in Brussels on the day of the publication; for details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org