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Explaining vehicle emissions – why do laboratory and road measurements differ?

city trafficΧαρακτηριστικό απόσπασμα:

 The road transport sector is a major contributor to Europe’s emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution. For certain pollutants, vehicles can emit substantially higher emissions on the road than official emissions tested in laboratories. A report released today by the European Environment Agency (EEA) provides a non-technical guide that describes the reasons for these often significant discrepancies.

Standardised measurements are made in laboratories to check that vehicles meet the official requirements for exhaust emissions. However, the official procedures currently used in Europe are not representative of real driving conditions. For certain pollutants, there is a significant difference between official emission measurements and vehicle performance on the road. Nitrogen oxides (NOx), a major air pollutant which harms health and the environment, can be more than seven times higher under real world driving conditions for new vehicles than in official tests. New vehicles similarly can emit up to 40 % more carbon dioxide (CO2) than official measurements would indicate.

The report outlines three main reasons for these discrepancies:

* An outdated test procedure used in Europe that does not reflect real-world driving conditions;
* Permitted ‘flexibilities’ in the current testing procedures that allow manufacturers to optimise certain testing conditions, and thereby achieve lower fuel consumption and CO2 emission values;
* Several in-use factors which are driver dependent (e.g. driving style) or independent (e.g. environmental conditions)
The existing emissions test procedure permits a number of flexibilities which can be used to minimise measured emissions

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 EEA1


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