British motorists have burned through an extra £20 Billion in fuel over two decades due to exhaust emission cheating by car makers, claim an environmental group.
The real cost of carmakers manipulating fuel efficiency tests is now revealed. The additional fuel burned because of widespread industry manipulation has cost drivers an extra €149.6 billion for the past 18 years, according to the Transport & Environment lobby group.
In 2017 alone, this superfluous waste of Europeans’ money was €23.4 billion, which is slightly more than all Swedes spent on food last year. Since 2000 the manipulation of CO2 tests has produced an additional 264 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, slightly more than the annual CO2 emissions of the Netherlands.
German drivers top the ranking with €36 billion wasted since 2000, followed by British motorists with €24.1bn, French (€20.5bn), Italians (€16.4bn) and Spaniards (€12bn). Last year alone, German drivers paid €5.5bn in extra fuel due to carmakers exploiting test loopholes, which is more than double the amount of money Germans spend every year on their most popular street food, currywurst.
The gap between test and real-world performance has leapt from 9% in 2000 to 42% in 2016 mainly through carmakers manipulating the laboratory test and also through fitting technology (such as start-stop) to cars that deliver much bigger savings in the lab than on the road.
Greg Archer, Clean Vehicles Director at Transport & Environment said, “Carmakers claims of huge progress improving fuel consumption is a scam. Despite regulations to reduce emissions, there has been no real-world improvement in CO2 emissions for five years and just a 10% improvement since 2000 – far less than the industry like to claim. The victims are citizens that have paid out €150 billion for more fuel and are also suffering the consequences of unchecked climate change.”
The car industry and the European Commission claim that a new laboratory test (WLTP) will fix the testing problems. But new analysis by T&E, backed up by Commission’s own Joint Research Centre study, shows it simply introduces new loopholes.
By inflating WLTP test results by at least 10g/km the car industry can easily achieve the 15% reduction in CO2 emissions proposed by the European Commission by 2025 as the stringency of the target is reduced by at least half.
Effective fixes to stop the cheating are available, such as introducing a real-world test or using data from fuel consumption meters. T&E analysis shows these would save an additional 108 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030 and save drivers €54 billion in lower fuel bills compared to the Commission’s current proposal.
The lobby group has also said it believes there has been collusion by car makers to ensure individual manufacturers do not unduly suffer if emissions are higher than the rest.