The European Parliament voted to end to the “licence to pollute” carmakers managed to obtain in the midst of the Dieselgate scandal.
European sustainable mobility body Transport & Environment welcomed this outcome and called on EU governments to support this decision in the negotiations to come with MEPs.
In 2016, carmakers managed to convince the EU Commission and Member States they were unable to comply with the legal limits for nitrogen oxides in new on-road tests. As a result, policymakers relaxed emission limits through so called “conformity factors”. Thanks to these exemptions, cars were allowed to emit 2.1 times over the legal NOx limit of 80 mg per km, hence up to 168mg NOx/km, until the end of 2020, and 43% more up to 114mg/km with no set end date.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have today voted out the conformity factors and want them phased out by September 2022 at the latest. Member States must agree to this in negotiations if new Euro 6 cars’ NOx emissions are to finally be within the legal limits by then.
Alex Keynes, clean vehicles manager at Transport & Environment, said, “Allowing carmakers to pollute more because their cars are polluting is like telling the police to stand down because the robbers are already in the bank. The health of thousands of Europeans is at risk because of air pollution. Carmakers have the means to meet nitrogen oxide limits in the real world, so this scandalous exemption must be stopped without further delay.”