Parliament votes on new diesel car emissions rules
Just as the VW scandal broke this week, so too were MEPs reflecting on a reinforcement of the existing legislation on the basis of a proposals from the European Commission. In the European Commission’s original proposals, the executive had not insisted on a date for so called real world driving (RDE) tests coming into effect. The European Parliament’s environment committee has now voted to strengthen planned new diesel car emission test rules and have reinforced the text to demand implementation by 2017. The environment committee also voted in favour of “fuel consumption meters (FCMs)” and “gear shift indicators”, for all new vehicles from 2019 as part of better eco monitoring. The European Commission has estimated that the use of FCMs for light-duty vehicles could lead to fuel efficiency savings of 2-3% per year. The environment committee also held an emergency debate last week on the VW scandal, putting the Commission under increased pressure to step up their response to the issue. The Commission has confirmed that it will wait the outcome of investigations in the US and Germany before taking any further action. The European Parliament meanwhile has called on the European Commission and national governments to recall all vehicles fitted with so called “defeat devices” which artificially lower emissions during tests. Such devices are already outlawed under EU law. The dossier will now need to be discussed with the Member States before it can become law.