Keeping emissions in check

Keeping emissions in check

With the European Commission preparing the ground for its post-2025 environmental standards, the effectiveness of today’s Euro 6 regulations has come under close scrutiny. Ricardo’s unique approach, correlating test-cycle data from the vehicles themselves with some 320,000 roadside measurements taken in real life pollution hotspots, shows a rapidly-improving picture and fresh opportunities to boost inner-city air quality. Tony Lewin speaks to two Ricardo experts
 
There can be no mistaking that the brand and reputation of diesel as a fuel for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles has been damaged in recent years. Diesel models’ share of the European new-car market has slumped to a new low of 37 percent in the first half of this year – its lowest since 2001 – and some city mayors are seeking to restrict the use of older diesels at certain times.
 
The situation is unsettling for consumers, especially as the whole official regulatory regime has been in flux at the same time. There has been a rush of new European emissions standards, WLTP and RDE are replacing the discredited and outdated NEDC test cycles, and manufacturers are making competing claims and counterclaims about the efficacy of the many new technologies coming on to the market. No wonder the poor buyers are confused; even commentators, environmental pressure groups, automakers and legislators are delivering muddled messages.
 
But now, in a bid to bring some much needed scientific clarity, Ricardo is publishing findings from a set of ongoing studies looking at the issue from where it matters most – the actual exhaust emissions of the vehicles implicated in the air quality problems suffered in urban areas right across Europe.
 
Ricardo Energy & Environment has built up a world-leading database of almost one-third of a million measurements of the exhaust emissions of vehicles in everyday traffic as they drive past special roadside monitoring stations. And in parallel, experts at Ricardo’s Shoreham research centre laboratories have put the official test cycles themselves to the test – by putting a selection of the very latest vehicles through the profusion of lab-test routines prescribed by the world’s legislators to see how the results compare with the figures obtained during an 85-kilometre Real Driving Emissions route on public roads.
 
Download the full article here