Moves to curb pollution
THE London Mayor plans a new emissions database highlighting the worst polluting vehicles, both diesel and petrol cars and vans, with a new emissions scoring scheme for motorists to identify and avoid buying them. A similar scheme is to be launched in Paris.
Sadiq Khan’s new online ‘cleaner vehicle checker’ in the new emissions database will include test results for new car and van models on the market. The Cleaner Vehicle Checker will show Londoners how much toxic NOx new cars emit, helping them to choose and buy less polluting vehicles.
This will free purchasers from having to rely on official testing – which the Mayor’s statement says can be unrealistic.
The emphasis on nitrogen oxides emissions also gets away from the CO2 emphasis which has been the basis for taxation, both in road tax and for company cars.
The announcement comes ahead of the Government’s new clean air strategy expected later this month to bring curbs and new charges in the worst polluted cities and after Sadiq Khan confirmed that his £10 toxic T-Charge, the toughest emission standard of any world city hitting most vehicles over 11 years old, will start in central London on October 23 this year.
Added to the congestion charge, it would cost more than £100 a week to drive in central London.
Currently, cars have to pass Euro Standards emissions testing. ‘Real world’ test results have shown that many vehicles do not reach the standards shown by the tests in typical operating conditions.
The vehicle checker will see “robust and independent on the road and real-world” emissions testing provided by Emissions Analytics and the International Council of Clean Transportation (ICCT).
Emissions Analytics is a well-respected independent vehicle testing company, which has which has developed the EQUA Index database of ‘real world’ emissions based on urban driving environments for the majority of new cars sold in the UK, France and other European countries. It has conducted extensive ‘real world testing’ on around 900 models of vehicles in Europe.
ICCT was the organisation that revealed that Volkswagen had used so-called ‘defeat devices’ to pass official emissions tests. It is recognised as an international leader in vehicle emissions testing.
Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40 Cities, Anne Hidalgo said: “For too long, some vehicle manufacturers have been able to hide behind inconsistent regulation and consumer uncertainty about the damage their cars are causing. This announcement is a wake-up call to car companies that they need to act now.
“Citizens of Paris and cities around the world demand clean air to breathe and this new scoring scheme will be key to helping achieve that.”
London’s new emissions database
The London scheme – which the authority says is the world’s first – will see purchasers able to check nearly all new cars and most new van models on a special website which will launch this autumn. Vehicles included on the website will be given a ‘score’ based on their emissions.
Sadiq Khan, said: “My scheme will put an end to the smoke and mirrors that have been employed in official emissions tests.
“It will provide Londoners with an honest, accurate and independent evaluation of the emissions of most new cars and vans on our roads and on the showroom forecourt. By having ‘on the road’ testing I believe we will help Londoners make an informed choice and incentivise manufacturers to build cleaner vehicles sooner.
“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. 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.”
- Last week the Government recognised the opening of The London Taxi Company’s new Coventry plant for making electric taxis by announcing funding for a £50 million Plug-in Taxi Grant programme that will give taxi drivers up to £7,500 off the price of a new vehicle.