Emissions Analytics clears the air over dirty diesel debate

With conflicting stories on just how clean modern diesel engines are, Emissions Analytics is providing valuable insight to the debate with its real, on-road vehicle emissions data.

Far from being a simple case of all diesels being equal, the extensive tests conducted to date show that the newer, Euro 6 diesel engines exhibit marked improvements when it comes to the production of emissions harmful to health.

With over 350 diesel vehicles analysed so far, Emissions Analytics’ data shows the earliest Euro 6 diesels produced levels of NOxsignificantly above the legislated limits. As reported in the International Council on Clean Transportation’s 2014 report, to which Emissions Analytics contributed data, the average was seven times over the limit.

However, many recent Euro 6 diesels show marked improvement, with NOxlevels averaging around 2.5 times the legislation limit of 0.08g/km.

“The regulation change to Euro 6 has reduced the permitted levels of NOxby 55% but, in real terms, the very latest Euro 6 diesels that we’ve tested are showing an improvement on Euro 5 of 72%,” explains Nick Molden, CEO of Emissions Analytics.

While this shows that there is still progress to be made, the recent demonisation of diesel misrepresents the work that vehicle manufacturers have undertaken to improve air quality and reduce the effects of transport-derived health issues, such as asthma. In addition, the introduction of diesel particulate filters at the Euro 5 stage went a long way to clean up the solid matter emitted from the exhaust.

A deeper dive into Emissions Analytics’ data shows that there are further considerations beyond the headline NOxnumbers.

Firstly, the percentage of NO2in the NOxis an important consideration as NO2is the major contributor to pollutant-related health issues. A recent presentation made by Emissions Analytics revealed that the ratio of NO2to NOxcan be as high as 90% in urban driving..

Secondly, a large proportion of NOxis emitted during stop-go urban driving - particularly while a vehicle is accelerating.  This is one of the principal contributors towards urban air quality problems, and underlines the importance of looking beyond the headline numbers.

Insights from Emissions Analytics’ data, along with others, are contributing towards better policy and planning tools, including the recent work with the Air Pollution Research in London (APRIL) group.

Nick Molden concludes: “To claim that all diesels are dirty misrepresents a complex situation. While it is certainly true that older diesel vehicles, including passenger cars, buses, taxis and delivery vehicles are significant contributors to poor air quality, our data shows that, with the introduction of the latest Euro 6 vehicles, the situation is improving. What this shows us is the important role real on-road emissions testing has to play in cleaning up our towns and cities.”


Notes to Editors

Nick Molden CEO and founder of Emissions Analytics is available for interview and comment of the issues relating to real-world fuel economy date and vehicle emissions.

Emissions Analytics provides on-road vehicle emissions measurement and analysis.  Its bespoke services include benchmark tests, product evaluation and real-world running costs.  It measures with precision all regulated pollutants, including CO, CO2, NO, NO2, total hydrocarbons and particulate matter.

Emissions Analytics’ pioneering role as supplier to What Car?’s break-through True MPG scheme has seen it test over 600 models and makes of passenger cars, providing consumers with an easy and reliable way to assess real-world fuel economy.

As experts in vehicle emissions and fuel consumption, Emissions Analytics supports a range of commercial and publicly-funded organisations. It is currently in partnership with Imperial College, London, studying urban emissions for transport planning and policy.

For more information please contact Matt Sanger at Torque 020 7952 1079 or msanger@torque.com.

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