Motor industry hits back at “false” Greenpeace emissions allegations

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says accusations by environmental charity are inaccurate and misleading

Emissions

The UK’s motor industry body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), has rejected claims that new cars sold in the country are breaching emissions standards.

A new report from Greenpeace alleges that 48 cars currently on sale fail to meet the latest Real Driving Emissions (RDE) emissions standards for nitrogen oxide (NOx). However, while the cars were found to pollute above the current 168g/km NOx limit, they were all tested before the new real driving emissions (RDE) standards were introduced on 1 September 2017. 

Diesel ban: What next for diesel in the UK?

Greenpeace says it obtained all the results from manufacturers’ own tests or those overseen by independent authorities. The charity cites the Fiat Tipo as the worst offender, producing 3.3 times more NOx than would be permissible under new guidelines, while the Renault Scenic dCi 95 produced 2.4 times more NOx than is allowed under RDE rules, and the Vauxhall Crossland X was 2.3 times over the limit.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT, called Greenpeace’s statement “false and inaccurate”, and accused the charity of “deliberately trying to mislead consumers”. Hawes said the authors of Greenpeace’s report: “fail to understand the new robust emissions tests and the timing of regulatory standards.” 

Hawes went on to add that the data obtained by Greenpeace was generated during the development of the new RDE standards:

“The results published thus far have been part of the testing of this new methodology and equipment but were never intended to be used to demonstrate compliance with a test that was not yet in force.”

'Real-world' emissions tests explained

Hawes reassured consumers that: “new cars on sale today are the cleanest in history and fully compliant with EU emissions standards.” He added:

“Thanks to ongoing investment into R&D and new technologies, every new generation of vehicle is more advanced than the last, with significantly lower pollutant emissions. The new official on-road tests, which came into force in September, will demonstrate that fact, as no new car model will be allowed to be sold unless it passes them.” 

Greenpeace’s own report, meanwhile, admits that the least-polluting models were fitted with a selective catalytic reduction, or AdBlue, system. This technology, now commonplace on new diesel cars, squirts small quantities of a urea-based liquid into a car’s exhaust fumes, bringing about a significant reduction in NOx emissions in the process. 

Writing in the charity’s report, Paul Morozzo, Greenpeace’s clean air campaigner, conceded that: “some manufacturers are managing to improve emissions in terms of NOx”.

What do you think of the Greenpeace report? Let us know in the comments...

Recommended

UK child car seat, booster seat and baby seat laws explained
Child seat booster seat car seat
Consumer news

UK child car seat, booster seat and baby seat laws explained

Detailed info on latest baby seat and child seat regulations, plus when it’s OK to use a booster seat
24 Mar 2021
8,800 drivers on UK roads with 12 points
Driver with second highest points doesn't have licence
News

8,800 drivers on UK roads with 12 points

There are currently 8,800 drivers in the UK still driving despite having enough penalty points to trigger an automatic ban
9 Mar 2021
VED road tax: how much does it cost?
car tax calculator
Consumer news

VED road tax: how much does it cost?

Confused by VED road tax? Our comprehensive guide explains how much you'll pay on your next car
4 Mar 2021
Budget 2021: Fuel duty frozen for 11th consecutive year
News

Budget 2021: Fuel duty frozen for 11th consecutive year

Chancellor scraps plan to increase fuel duty in bid to keep cost of living down during ongoing Covid-19 pandemic 
3 Mar 2021

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 van teased
New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 van teased
Volkswagen Transporter

New 2021 Volkswagen Transporter T7 van teased

Next-generation Volkswagen Transporter T7 will break cover later this year with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain
14 Apr 2021
New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron on sale now, priced from £40,750
Audi Q4 e-tron - front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron on sale now, priced from £40,750

Two body styles, three powertrains and four trim-levels confirmed for Audi’s compact Q4 EV, including a 295bhp quattro option
15 Apr 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and it brings a practical outlook to the EV ownership experience
13 Apr 2021