Friday 28 April 2017

Diesel cars 'twice as bad as trucks' for emissions

NOx pollution, much of it from diesel engines, is blamed for thousands of early deaths across Europe (Stock picture)
NOx pollution, much of it from diesel engines, is blamed for thousands of early deaths across Europe (Stock picture)
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Diesel cars spit out twice the level of dangerous emissions as trucks and buses because they are subjected to more lenient testing, a new report reveals.

The findings have prompted calls for much stricter measures to be applied to cars as soon as possible.

New-diesel car registrations came to 102,771 last year in Ireland, a 70.07pc share of the market and up from 88,810 in 2015 (71.16pc).

The report is published by the independent research organisation International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).

The council played a pivotal role in the Volkswagen emissions saga.

Its authors say the latest findings highlight the importance of upcoming EU decisions on "strengthening the real- driving emissions (RDE) test for passenger cars".

On average, NOx emissions of the heavy-duty bus and truck vehicles tested were approximately 210mg/km.

Currently, NOx emissions of Euro-6 diesel passenger cars under real-world driving conditions are around 500mg/km, it claimed.

"This means that NOx emissions of diesel cars are more than double those of trucks and buses," the report concluded.

But because buses and trucks burn more diesel per kilometre in much larger engines, it is claimed that cars could produce up to 10 times more NOx per litre of fuel.

NOx pollution, much of it from diesel engines, is blamed for thousands of early deaths across Europe and has come under intense scrutiny for its effects on public health.

As of now, official EU emission tests for cars are conducted in laboratories on measurements for prototype vehicles. However, real-world testing of NOx emissions for trucks and buses has been mandatory since 2013.

Changes to how cars are tested are due to start in September within the EU. Mobile devices, called 'portable emissions measurement systems' (PEMS), will be attached to cars while they are driven on public roads.

But critics say this is not enough as manufacturers will still be able to select special prototype cars for the tests.

Irish Independent

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