European Council approves second RDE package

On 12 February 2016, the Council approved the adoption of the second package of rules to introduce real driving emission (RDE) tests.  The new tests are intended to measure more accurately pollutant emissions from cars and other light vehicles. This follows the European Parliament’s adoption earlier this month and now allows the European Commission to adopt the legislation.


For their approval, new models of vehicles are currently subject to laboratory tests of their emissions. However, analysis has shown that vehicles produced in line with existing EU standards generate substantially higher emissions on the road than in laboratory conditions. This problem was detected in particular in relation to emissions of diesel vehicles of the pollutant substance NOx. That is why new procedures to measure emissions in real driving conditions are needed.


The second package on RDE tests establishes the emission limits applicable in these tests and the dates when these will apply to new models and to new vehicles.


The final requirements will be introduced in two steps. The first should apply from September 2017 for new models and from September 2019 for new vehicles. During this first period, a conformity factor of up to 2.1 (110%) will be allowed for exceeding the NOx emissions limit (80 mg/km). The aim is to give manufacturers time to gradually adapt to the new RDE rules. This first conformity factor will be phased out at the latest in 2021.


In a second stage, from January 2020 for new models and from January 2021 for new vehicles, there will still be the possibility to apply a conformity factor. However this second conformity factor will be only 1 plus the error margin, which is currently set at 0.5. (With a conformity factor of 1.5 the limit could be exceeded by 50%). The error margin reflects statistical and technical uncertainties of the tests.


This second conformity factor will be annually reviewed to take into consideration technical improvements to the test equipment.


Source: The European Council



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