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The mismatch between Mitsubishi’s reported and actual on-road emissions was first identified by Nissan, which was performing emissions tests on vehicles supplied by Mitsubishi Motors. Nissan subsequently called for an investigation, in turn leading to the discovery of the test manipulations. According to a official statement, Mitsubishi and Nissan have decided to stop production and sales of the affected cars and will discuss compensation in this regard.
The news about Mitsubishi’s fraudulent auto-testing practices comes after similar revelations regarding Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Renault, Opel and Daimler. In the last few months, since the so-called dieselgate scandal was sparked by Volkswagen, it has been found that fraudulent emission testing practices affect not only NOx but also CO.2 emissions, contributing to urban air pollution and climate change.
While cheating practices have helped automakers achieve cost savings, amounting to around € 7 billion, as a result of compliance with EU regulations, the associated costs incurred by society have been damaging, in the form of deadly levels of air pollution and human lives at stake Indeed, a recent report of the European Environment Agency estimates that air pollution continues to be responsible for more than 430,000 premature deaths in Europe, making it the greatest environmental health risk on the continent.
Despite these alarming findings, the Commission’s progress on the review of the ‘New Emissions Driving Cycle’ (NEDC) has been largely insufficient, mainly due to pressure from Member States and the automotive lobby.
Electrification: the only and inevitable way forward for the transport sector
As evidence of fraudulent emissions testing practices continues to accumulate, the importance of transport electrification is becoming increasingly evident: namely its key role in reconciling the decarbonization of the transport sector. and reduction of local air pollution in cities.
Even if emissions tests are improved and vehicles taxed fairly to reflect real-world emissions, there are limits to improving the efficiency of combustion engines. This means that it will soon be cheaper and more sustainable to encourage and invest heavily in electric vehicles. Failure to invest on time in zero-emission transport will threaten the viability of automakers in the face of ever-growing concerns about health problems induced by air pollution, stricter emission performance standards and fuel testing regimes. ‘more stringent expected emissions.
To strengthen its role as a pioneer in electromobility, Norway last month released its National Transport Plan 2018-2029 calling for electric and hydrogen powered cars to account for 100% of new car sales by 2025. The plan calls for all newly registered cars, vans and buses to be ‘zero emissions’ by 2025, with 1.6 million to be put on the road by 2030 – equivalent to a saving of around 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
This ambitious plan with policy recommendations was presented by Norwegian government agencies representing coastal, air, rail and road transport. The report was recently presented to the government and is awaiting parliamentary approval.
Likewise, the Dutch Parliament passed a motion that could ban the sale of non-electric cars by 2025. The motion was passed by the lower house of the Dutch parliament and now needs to be approved by the National Senate before it can become law.
2016 promises to be promising for the EU with a number of opportunities ahead to highlight and accelerate the wider adoption of electric transport. In the second quarter of 2016, for example, the European Commission is expected to present a proposal for a post-2020 effort sharing decision (ESD), which will be accompanied by a communication on the decarbonization of transport. In addition, 2016 will be a decisive year in terms of the preparatory process of the EU Member States for the implementation of the Infrastructure Directive for Alternative Fuels (AFI).