Real world driving: fuel efficiency and emissions testing

Greenhouse gas mitigation Fossil fuels Car industry Motor vehicles Australia

Preliminary results from Australia’s first on-road vehicle emissions test program cast doubt over the relevance of laboratory testing and suggest consumers are commonly being misled.

Commissioned by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), the test results also suggest forthcoming national emissions reduction regulations may be based on flawed assumptions.

In the wake of the Volkswagen scandal, the AAA commissioned the study of 30 vehicles to clarify how real-world emissions differ from those observed in a laboratory setting. Engineering firm ABMARC is using portable, laboratory-standard equipment to analyse emissions produced by vehicles driving in and around Melbourne.

Results show emissions of noxious gasses up to four times the regulatory limits, while greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption was up to 35 per cent higher than figures shown on the relevant Government-mandated Fuel Consumption Label, and 20 per cent higher on average.  Full results are due by mid-2017, however results from the first 10 vehicles are being released today to help inform two important Government reviews; the work of the Ministerial Forum on Vehicle Emissions, and the ACCC’s market study into the new car retailing industry.

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