European Commission on RDE agreement

Today Member States meeting in the Technical Committee of Motor Vehicles have voted by a large majority on the second package of implementing measures to introduce real driving emissions tests for air pollutant emissions by diesel cars.

The problem right now, as the Commission has pointed out time and again, is that laboratory tests do not accurately reflect the amount of air pollution emitted during real driving conditions.

That is why the Commission has been working hard to bring light into this area. We have already reformed the way tests should be conducted so they reflect actual emissions in real driving conditions. Now, Member States have agreed that from 1 September 2017 these new real driving emissions (RDE) tests will determine whether a new car model is allowed to be put on the market.

Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “The EU is the first and only region in the world to mandate these robust testing methods. And this is not the end of the story. We will complement this important step with a revision of the framework regulation on type-approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles. We are working hard to present a proposal to strengthen the type-approval system and reinforce the independence of vehicle testing. We are listening to the many views expressed and ideas put forward, and I thank the European Parliament in particular for its valuable input.”

The technical regulatory committee gathering Member States representatives agreed today that the new RDE test will have a binding impact on the type-approvals issued by the national type-approval authority (TAA) from September 2017 for all newly approved types of vehicles (from September 2019 for all new vehicles).

Given technical limits to improving the real world emission performance of currently produced diesel cars in the short-term, Member States agreed that car manufacturers must reduce the divergence between the regulatory limit that is tested in laboratory conditions and the values of the RDE procedure when the car is driven by a real driver on a real road (the so-called “conformity factor”) in two steps:

– in a first step, car manufacturers will have to bring down the discrepancy to a conformity factor of maximum 2.1 (110%) for new models by September 2017 (for new vehicles by September 2019);

– in a second step, this discrepancy will be brought down to a factor of 1.5 (50%), taking account of technical margins of error, by January 2020 for all new models (by January 2021 for all new vehicles).

Today’s agreement by Member States on the allowed divergence between the regulatory limit measured in real driving conditions and measured in laboratory conditions is still a significant reduction compared to the current discrepancy (400% on average).

Press release from the European Commission, 28 October 2015


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