EU backs tougher emissions tests

New cars will have to pass new emissions tests from next year after European Union nations backed measures to strengthen on-road tests.

It’s hoped these tests will provide a safety net for laboratory-based ones, whose flaws were exposed by the Volkswagen scandal.

The new rules will apply for all new car models by September 2017 and for all new vehicles by September 2018. Carmakers had called for the rules to be delayed until 2019, but the measures were approved by EU member state representatives at a regulatory committee meeting on Tuesday.

The measures extend real-world emissions testing, which will be introduced in Europe next year, to cover particle number (PN) emissions. Emission of particles used to be an issue linked only to diesel engines.

Europe’s Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said, ‘Car manufacturers should already start designing vehicles with lower particle emissions and introduce the necessary filters in petrol cars that are already widely used for diesel.’

The measures will also require carmakers to make emissions performance information available to consumers.