Fuel efficiency figures fail real-world tests 0

fuel-efficiency-figures-fail-real-world-testsThe claims made by car makers regarding their EU sold vehicles’ fuel consumption are becoming increasingly misleading says a leading environmental group, this is leading to a growing gap between performance on the road and in official tests.

The report released by Transport & Environment revealed that in real-world conditions, cars sold in the EU last year consumed 42% more fuel than in their laboratory tests.

This acts as an unflattering comparison to 2012; cars sold that year consumed 28% more fuel during real-world tests conducted by regulators.

For the report, Transport & Environment reviewed 16 different brands. Those with the greatest margin between the two testing parameters were Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Smart.

Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes and Smart, and Volkswagen – who owns Audi – said they complied with all legal requirements.

In addition to raising issues about whether customers are being duped, Transport & Environment also highlighted how the vehicles’ real-world performance emitted higher levels of CO2 compared to emissions in official tests.

Last year, Volkswagen admitted to installing cheat software in around 11 million of its diesel vehicles that gave false readings during emissions tests.

Despite the monitoring for fuel economy and CO2 emissions being radically different to the way NOx is measured, the issue of the difference between performance on the road and in official testing is similar.

“The gap between the fuel economy measured in laboratory tests and those achieved by the average driver of the same car are widening at a staggering rate,” the Transport & Environment report said.

“The overwhelming cause is carmakers manipulating the undemanding and poorly prescribed emissions tests; and choosing to fit technology to improve the efficiency of the car that works much better in the test than on the road.”

The report is based on figures collected by the International Council on Clean Transportation, a research firm, which compared the emissions made during real-world tests and in official laboratory conditions across 1 million EU vehicles.

Mercedes cars consumed 54 per cent more fuel on average on the road last year than claimed in sales brochures. Audi and Smart both consumed 49 per cent more fuel.

Daimler said there would “always be differences” between laboratory monitoring and real-world driving.

“Our vehicles are certified and approved according to the relevant regulations,” it added.

Audi said it followed “the rules and only use allowed legal measurements and configurations”.

From September next year, all cars sold in the EU will be required to pass tests that measure emissions of CO2 and NOx in real-world driving conditions before being approved for sale by regulators.

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