London and Paris to score new cars by their emissions
The new scoring system will aim to help consumers choose the most environmentally friendly cars in a bid to cut air pollution
Report from – Damien Carr
Image: Mike Knell, Oncoming Traffic (Unmodified. CC BY 2.0)
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo who is also Chair of C40 Cities, today announced that the two cities are creating schemes to score new cars based on their real-world emissions and their impact on air quality.
The schemes are aimed at helping consumers make better-informed choices about the environmental impact of the cars they drive and prevent car manufacturers from exploiting loopholes in existing labelling schemes. Vehicle scoring schemes, such as EU standards, currently only regulate some pollutants and only require vehicles to meet standards in laboratory conditions and according to C40 Cities, actual emissions on the road can be up to 15 times greater.
The new schemes will allocate each model of car with a score, based on all of the air pollutants they release during real-world, on-road conditions. The scores will be made available to citizens through dedicated websites, with the aim being to give consumers a more accurate understanding of how polluting that car will be when driven on urban streets. Paris and London have committed to launch their data online by the end of 2017.
“For too long, some vehicle manufacturers have been able to hide behind inconsistent regulation and consumer uncertainty about the damage their cars are causing,” said Hidalgo, adding that the announcement was a “wake-up call to car companies that they need to act now”.
Criticising the “smoke and mirrors” used in official emissions tests, Khan said the new system would provide an accurate and independent evaluation of emissions.
The existing EU labelling scheme only rates vehicles for fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions, and are based on laboratory tests. Recent scandals have shown the potential for these tests to be manipulated by car manufacturers, undermining public confidence in the tests. Some diesel cars that meet the EU’s highest environmental standards, known as Euro 6, in reality release more Nitrogen Oxide and Nitrogen Dioxide than a modern heavy duty truck.
Khan also highlighted the role that city-led schemes can play in improving the lives of their citizens. “This scheme is also a fantastic example of how big cities around the world can pool their expertise and their influence to encourage big industry to clean up its act,” he said. “The toxicity of the air in London and many other big cities is an outrage, and schemes of the type we are introducing in London and Paris have the potential to make a massive difference to the quality of the air we all breathe.”
Several other C40 cities, including Seoul, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, Oslo and Tokyo have committed to work with C40 to develop a global scoring system relevant and accessible to all citizens, and will explore how to provide this accurate and transparent information to the public.
WATCH: Andrew Collinge of the GLA's London Data Store on data and air quality