In an effort to meet the world’s toughest emissions standards, many automakers in Europe are exploiting loopholes that fudge emissions data in their favor. From grippier tires to the kinds of smooth roads you don’t see in the real world, these loopholes have allowed automakers to make the grade with ease. But not everybody is satisfied with the results.
The European Environment Agency announced that new cars were on average 4% cleaner, with average emissions dropping to 127 g/km, below the required 130 g/km threshold. Much of this improvement is owed to newer, smaller, and more-efficient engines from just about every automaker in the alphabet, as well as extensive use of low-weight materials like aluminum and carbon fiber.
But not all the MPG improvements are made on the up-and-up, as an investigation has revealed shenanigans that could account for as much as one-third of the emissions reduction improvement. This happens thanks to loose industry testing standards, and lobbyists have repeatedly resisted attempts to make the tests stricter. As a result, customers are rarely seeing the promised emissions reduction or, more importantly, the improved MPG many automakers boast of.
Unfortunately, until new tests are implemented, corporate types can continue to take advantage of loopholes instead of making further innovations to their vehicles. If all it takes are better tires and smoother roads, why don’t automakers and governments invest in better tires and smoother roads?
Hell, at least give us the option.