Home / Auto / 'Demonised' diesel cars actually CLEANER than some new models finds shock new test

'Demonised' diesel cars actually CLEANER than some new models finds shock new test


cars air pollution

New emissions test comes into reveal highly polluting vehicles (Image: LAND ROVER)

A new independent emissions test and grading system has been released which measure the levels of toxic nitrogen oxides vehicles emit.

AIR Index is an international, independent and standardised rating system that reveals accurately how much pollution a vehicle produces when it is used in towns and cities.

A simple A-E colour-coded rating shows the difference between clean and dirty vehicles.

Motorists are confused about what cars are clean after the Dieselgate scandal of 2015, with the biggest casualty being vehicles.

Here’s what each of the different grades represent:

A – 0-80 mg/km of NOx

B – 80-168 mg/km of NOx

C – 168-270 mg/km of NOx

D – 270-600 mg/km of NOx

E – 600-Above mg/km of NOx

80mg/km of NOx is the legal limit for diesel vehicles and 60mg/km of NOx is for petrol cars.

Massimo Fedeli, Co-founder and Operations Director, AIR said: “The AIR Index is a game changer. It gives easy to understand, at-a-glance information on actual vehicle emissions in towns and cities.

“It compiles the results of the most independent, consistent and thorough tests ever carried out.

“It provides car buyers with the answers they need to make the right purchasing choices, it makes the industry accountable to produce cleaner cars and gives cities and policy makers the accurate data to create fair policies.

“We have worked hard over the last year with our expert academic and industry group to deliver European standardisation for the AIR Index through the CEN Workshop Agreement.

“For the first time there are comparative ratings between vehicles as a result of setting tough but fair testing criteria, all conducted on the road in real driving conditions. The same standardised test is applied to each different car type.

“For the first time policy makers have the ability to improve urban air quality, using the AIR Index to control vehicle access, without penalising consumers unfairly because the vehicle that they bought in good faith is dirtier, on the road, than they were led to believe.”

Land Rover Discovery 2018

The Land Rover Discovery 2018 was found to be a low polluter (Image: PH)

Some of the cars tested using the new technology emitted just 40mg/km of NOx while others exceeded 1.000mg/km

Of the vehicles tested the Renault Clio was awarded the worst E-grade meaning it is one of the worst polluters.

In fact, the vehicle was found to be 20 times more polluting that the Land Rover Discovery.

A spokesman for the Air Index said: “The Renault Clio’s emissions of NOx were 20 times higher and therefore dirtier than that of the Land Rover Discovery.

“People will not expect that. That is why these independent tests are so important. Big 4x4s with modern diesel engines can be among the cleanest vehicles on the road.”

Renault Clio

Renault Clio 2017 (Image: RENAULT)

He added: “It will surprise many people, but the big-engined SUV is actually the cleanest vehicle, well below the official NOx limits.

“By contrast, the small supermini is the dirtiest and many times worse than the official NOx limits.”

The Ford Focus, one of the most popular family cars, landed a D-grade meaning it well exceeds the legal limit.

It also found that the Dacia Duster, one of the cheapest vehicles on the road, was also found to have a fairly poor grade.

“One of the cheapest cars available in the market- the Dacia Duster – is very poor,” Air Index insiders said.

“And one of the best-selling family cars – the Ford Focus – is also very poor, multiple times worse than the official NOx limits.”

AIR Index tested vehicles:

2018 Land Rover Discovery 3.0 TD6 (diesel): A

2017 Nissan Qashqai 1.2 DiG-T (petrol): B

2015 Mini Cooper SD (diesel): C

2018 Dacia Duster 1.5 dCi (diesel): D

2017 Ford Focus 1.5 TDCi (diesel): D

2017 Renault Clio 1.5 dCi (diesel): E

Dan Carder, Direct of the Centre for Alternative Fuels, Engines, Emissions at the West Virginia University said: “If the AIR Index had been implemented 15 years ago, Dieselgate would likely not have happened.

“Until the recent implementation of the AIR Index, the air quality debate was devoid of objective, independent, and publicly available assessment of vehicles’ actual NOx emissions during real driving in urban environments.”



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I'm a 50 year old PLC programmer from Burnley, UK. I severed my time as an electrician in the baking industry and soon got involved with the up and coming technology of PLC's. Initially this was all based in the Uk but as the years went by I have gradually worked my way around the globe. At first it was mainly Mitsubishi with a bit of Modicon thrown in but these days the industry leaders seem to be the Allen Bradley range of PLC and HMI’s.

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