Gap between real-world and type-approval emissions undermines incentives for cleaner cars

01 October 2019

Article: 53/3908

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a briefing which sums up evidence on the effect of financial schemes to promote the uptake of cars with lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in seven European countries.

The briefing is based on a recent study by the European Topic Centre on Air Pollution, Transport, Noise and Industrial Pollution and shows that European countries that have actively promoted electric vehicles have significantly reduced the average CO2 emissions from new cars. This has also resulted in other benefits, such as reduced emissions of air pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter.

However, the effects of tax incentives that promote conventional fuel-efficient cars are less clear. These incentives are based on type-approval emissions tested in the laboratory, which are lower than the real-world emissions on the road.

As the gap between type-approval CO2 emissions and real-world emissions has increased, the real-world emissions of new cars have decreased significantly less than expected.

Source EEA, 24 September 2019