MEPs back real-world driving emissions test03 Feb 2016

European Parliament supports new measures to bring down NOx emissions

Members of the European Parliament have decided not to veto measures which are intended to cut down real-world driving emissions.

The European Commission has proposed that from 2017 a new real driving emissions (RDE) test should be introduced which allows new cars to emit no more 2.1 times the current Euro 6 standard limit of NOx (which contributes to poor air quality) which has to be achieved in the lab under strict, standardised conditions.

But today the resolution from the Environment Committee was rejected by 323 votes to 317, with 61 abstentions.

Responding to the vote, Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:

“This is a step in the right direction. Estimates are that in the real world the average Euro 6 car emits more than seven times the amount of NOx allowed by law. The new process reduces that to two times the amount with further reductions down the line. Importantly there will finally be an on-the-road test to go with the lab procedure that much more closely reflects the experiences of millions of drivers.

“Today’s move should help start the slow process of restoring consumer confidence in both the auto industry and the testing regime. The sooner that happens the better.

“If MEPs had vetoed the legislation then it would have been back to the drawing board and emissions levels would have remained much higher.” 

Other organisations have been critical of the proposals and the vote including Transport and Environment:

“The European Parliament today caved in to pressure from car-producing countries and agreed to weaken the limits for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from new diesel cars. The effective new ‘Euro 6’ limit, 168mg of NOx per km, is more than double that agreed in 2007 (80mg/km). From 2020, all new cars will still be allowed to emit 120mg/km. Transport & Environment (T&E) is disappointed with the decision, which will undermine efforts to clean up Europe’s air and improve public health.”



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

[email protected] | 020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

The Foundation publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interest of the responsible motorist. All the Foundation’s work is available at: