Staff blog: Passenger Vehicles

Technology is coming at astounding rates and the current 2025 standards will not be difficult to meet at a cost a lot less than anybody has forecast. When NHTSA and EPA reevaluate the “appropriateness” of the 2025 standards, we would hope they take this information, and the underlying trend of accelerating technology innovation, into account.
Between minuscule electric vehicle (EV) sales, growing diesel shares, and Italian carmakers’ struggle to curb carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, there is no doubt that Italy is heading in the wrong direction, but it’s not too late for a U-turn.
The success of the RDE regulation will depend on the will of manufacturers to prove that they have learned a lesson from Dieselgate by beginning to focus on reducing real-world emissions, not just on passing a particular test.
On June 26, the BMVI finally published the CO2 measurement results we had been waiting for. But in the interim the Ministry re-tested 29 of the original vehicle models. Only a subset of those results, data on 19 out of the 29, was published and in many cases, the vehicles show lower CO2 emissions during the retest than according to their official type-approval value. Those are impressively good results—and strikingly different than the initial results from 2016.
At the next G20 Summit in July in Hamburg, Germany can lay the groundwork to achieve substantial energy savings and environmental benefits in three important ways.
European governments have strong incentives to discourage diesel technology and national governments could face fines for failing to meet ambient air quality standards for NOx. As a result, several cities are moving fast to phase out diesel cars, which account for 80% of all NOx emissions from vehicles in Europe.