The Netherlands votes against delaying the introduction of more stringent emissions tests for new diesel vehicles

The European Commission’s proposal to further delay the introduction of stricter, real-world tests for new diesel vehicles and thus allow the NOx emissions limit in the initial years to be exceeded by more than double, is unacceptable to the Netherlands. Unfortunately, during the Technical Committee of Motor Vehicles’ vote, the Netherlands stood alone in its strict views on air quality. Despite the opposition of the Netherlands, the Commission’s proposal was adopted.  

The Netherlands has for many years been one of the driving forces behind the introduction of a real-life test, known as the Real Driving Emission test. Due in part to the fraud involving the software in diesel cars, the European Commission put forward a proposal to accelerate the earlier agreed transition from rolling road tests to real-life tests in two steps: with effect from 2017, the permitted divergence (known as the “conformity factor”) between the measurements of the two tests would be a maximum of 60% (conformity factor: 1.6) and from 2018 a maximum of 18% (conformity factor: 1.18) for new models and a year later for all new vehicles.
The Netherlands found this proposal to be already lacking in ambition but acceptable as a first step. This proposal was, however, first watered down before being subsequently adopted. The new agreements are: with effect from 1 September 2017 the divergence will be reduced to 110% (conformity factor 2.1) and 50 % as of 1 September 2020 (conformity factor 1.5) for new vehicle types.