Auto industry calls for a balanced real driving emissions proposal

Brussels, 12 October 2015 – Following the 6 October meeting of the European Commission’s regulatory committee (TCMV) with the member states, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) understands that the European Commission has come forward with a proposal for some of the essential elements needed for legislation on real driving emissions (RDE). The automobile industry agrees with the need for emissions to more closely reflect real-world conditions, and has been calling for proposals for years.

ACEA supports a robust but realistic RDE package that will address the key environmental issues under a two-step approach, as already agreed by the member states. ACEA fully understands the need for Step 1 of RDE to commence from September 2017 for new vehicle types, and has always been committed to this.

ACEA continues to stress the need for a timeline and testing conditions that take into account the technical and economic realities of today’s markets, allowing for reasonable transition time to apply RDE to all new vehicles. “We are fully aligned with the need to better measure the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from diesel cars and vans under normal driving conditions,” stated Erik Jonnaert, ACEA Secretary General. “However, it is important to proceed in a way which allows manufacturers to plan and implement the necessary changes, without jeopardising the role of diesel as one of the key pillars for fulfilling future CO2 targets.”

Without realistic timeframes and conditions, some diesel models could effectively become unaffordable, forcing manufacturers to withdraw them from sale. This could have repercussions upon consumer choice as well as employment in the wider automotive sector. This will affect not only passenger cars but also lighter commercial vehicles, where diesel is presently the technology of choice for operators.

“Our industry is committed to contributing constructively to the efforts of the Commission and member states to upgrade emissions testing,” explained Jonnaert. “Clarity and predictability will enable manufacturers to continue investing in technologies that meet even higher standards and contribute to the fight against climate change.”