State Secretary Mansveld: “Brussels must arrive at an accurate car test quickly”

State Secretary Mansveld (Infrastructure & the Environment) wants Brussels to come up quickly with a new and better method to determine the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of cars.

TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) research results, that she is sending to the House of Representatives today, confirm that business passenger cars consume more fuel in practice than officially stated by manufacturers. Ms Mansveld: “This has to be stopped. People in the Netherlands who buy a car must be able to rely on that car being as fuel efficient in practice as it is on paper.”

Currently, negotiations are underway in Brussels regarding the new introduction date of the new method. State Secretary Mansveld: “The new test procedure must be introduced as quickly as possible. This research gives the Netherlands additional ammunition to keep up the pressure on Brussels.” Ms Mansveld also wants cars that run on both electricity and fuel (semi-electric cars) to drive more kilometres on electricity.

Consumption in practice different from on paper

The TNO research shows that although business passenger cars have begun to consume less fuel in recent years, the difference between official test values and consumption in practice has increased in recent years. This is mainly due to the fact that manufacturers are using energy-saving technologies that deliver greater fuel savings under the test conditions than they do in practice. Moreover, manufacturers are also making more use of margins in the test procedures.

Netherlands a leader in Europe

The Netherlands is playing a leading role in the development of the new, globally harmonised method for testing the consumption of fuel and the CO2 emissions of new passenger cars. In addition, the Netherlands wants to see reduced test margins and a test procedure that is as realistic as possible. With the introduction of the new test, the difference between type approval and use in practice is expected to become smaller.

Alongside supporting the introduction of a new and improved test during the type approval of cars, the Netherlands also supports the introduction of the independent random testing of cars that are ready to be delivered to consumers. In this way, there will be an additional check of the figures delivered in the test.

Increased electrically powered driving for semi-electrical cars

The TNO research that was sent to the House of Representatives today also shows that the semi-electric cars analysed are the most economical cars on the Dutch market. These vehicles are currently driving one-quarter of their mileage electrically. The still limited availability of charging points and the sometimes limited range of these cars when driving on electricity play a role in this. State Secretary Mansveld: “There is more to be gained.’’ At the request of Ms Mansveld, the Formula E Team, a partnership between companies, knowledge institutions, and civil society organisations will encourage people to drive more kilometres using electricity. They will also examine how to increase the number of kilometres driven electrically by semi-electric cars. The results of this study are expected to be available in October 2013.