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WHO KNEW? – A 3-litre Land Rover Discovery diesel is cleaner to drive around town than a Renault Clio.

A new ratings system shows that the little town car emits 20 times more NOx than than the big Disco.

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

The slump in diesel car sales shows that car buyers are confused about petrol and diesel emissions following Dieselgate, but until now have only been able to use the information provided by car makers’ own tests.

The AIR Index has been created to inform car buyers and city policy makers with the real facts about vehicle emissions when making choices about car purchase and usage. A simple A-E colour-coded rating, shows the difference between clean and dirty vehicles.

Many of Europe’s urban areas are exposed to concentrations of air pollutants above the air quality standards defined in the 2016 Air Quality Directive1.

Policy makers need to ensure that only the cleanest vehicles, based on their actual emissions, are allowed on the streets to cut NOx emissions and clean up the air.

AIR Index shows how clean a car’s tailpipe emissions are, allowing comparison with other vehicles based on scientifically robust, on-road vehicle testing according to the latest CWA 17379 methodology.

Inspiration for the AIR Index has been NCAP, the independent vehicle-safety rating system developed in the US in the 1970s that became the industry standard in the EU and around the world.

air index tm diagram horizontal

Massimo Fedeli, Co-founder and Operations Director, AIR said: The Index igives easy to understand information on actual vehicle emissions in towns and cities. It compiles the results of the most independent, consistent and thorough tests ever carried out.

We have worked hard 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.

Gerry Keaney, Chief Executive of the BVRLA said: Companies engaged in vehicle rental, leasing and fleet management will welcome the transparency on urban NOx emissions provided through the AIR Index.

“This is a win-win solution for fleet owners and policy makers, offering independent guidance to select the cleanest vehicles which will improve air quality now. The Index should not be used to create retrospective air quality policies that would punish fleets for vehicle choices they have already made based on less accurate NOx data”.

AIR has now commissioned a programme of vehicle testing and more results will be added periodically.

How does it work

Vehicles are tested according to the CWA 17379 standardised methodology which ensures that the results are independent, comparable and can be used as the basis for a legal framework for vehicle policies.

The testing is carried out on at least two cars, sourced independently from vehicle manufacturers with portable emissions testing units (PEMS) recording actual on-road driving in towns and cities.

For a result to be considered acceptable for rating in the AIR Index there must be at least five, 10 km trips completed during three separate journeys on at least two matching vehicles in line with the CEN standard.

The results of the tests provide the basis to rate the vehicle according to the A-E, colour-coded scale.



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