Last Wednesday, the European car industry has proven to be firmly in control in the Brussels government. The European Parliament voted for the decision of October 28th, which allows diesel cars until 2020 to emit more than twice as much nitrogen oxides than has been stipulated in a law from 2007, and fifty percent more after 2020. A veto against this decision has not made it through the parliament as a result of strong lobbying by the automobile manufacturers. In return for not having to meet the emissions requirements, a new fuel efficiency test will be implemented from September 1st 2016, in which cars will no longer be tested in a lab (on a dyno) but on the road instead, which should lead to more realistic fuel economy test results. This test is logically called the Real Driving Emissions test (RDE). However, the lobby of the manufacturers has also succeeded in getting some elements of this test toned down or even deleted.
Read this interesting article about how the car manufacturers were able to dictate the European Commission which amendments to make to its proposal for the RDE and how most of their input got accepted. The very imperative tone of the e-mail Volkswagen has sent on behalf of the ACEA, the alliance of European Car Manufacturers to the EC in 2014 perfectly illustrates who’s in control in this relationship. [Read more…]