Paul Barker's blog: 5 June - Worries over real-world tests
05 June 2015
The EU is moving towards a revised emissions test for new cars in the hope of getting figures that are based more on reality than the current one.
I've long been bored by people moaning about not achieving the fuel consumption figures manufacturers quote. Well, duh. Anyone expecting to match the official figures - where manufacturers test vehicles in optimum conditions - with their real-world driving in different weather conditions, on different roads with different gradients, using differing levels of aircon and other in-car features is deluded.
There's no way of recreating how an individual will drive. Go at 60mph up and down motorways all day and you'll be a lot nearer the official figure than someone driving with the accelerator to the floor in urban traffic. And all normal drivers are somewhere in between. BusinessCar generally finds that the official urban figure is a reasonable expectation for overall average consumption on our long-term fleet, while somewhere between 70-80% of the official combined figure is another good target.
A new test may well bring those figures closer together, but potentially at a cost. I can't see how a Government under pressure to make large-scale cost savings could possibly resist grabbing more cash from the motorist and businesses when emissions figures inevitably rise with the new tests, due in a little over two years.
To make the numbers more real-world, they will have to go up, and I bet there's not the same level of adjustment in BIK and VED bands. A worse-case scenario is that there's no movement at all, but I'd imagine the Government would put on a show of willing by moving them upwards, and I'd wager that it won't be in line with how much car CO2 increases. And that's not to mention the potential confusion around the switch from one set of figures to the other and whether they will run in tandem.