Sarah Barth March 5 2017
The VW Polo newest diesel edition emits as much as much toxic nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as an HGV with cargo.
“The worst-performing car [in the tests] was a VW Polo with a 1.4-litre turbodiesel engine with NO2 emissions 13 times higher than EU regulations allow,” James Tate of Leeds University’s Institute for Transport Studies, who analysed the test results, told the Sunday Times.
“Its emissions of 1.2 grams of NO2 per kilometre were the same as a fully laden diesel truck with a 13-litre engine that we also tested.”
Transport for London commissioned Millbrook, a vehicle testing firm in Bedfordshire, to drive the vehicles on a London route at night, during rush hour and at midday. The routes and vehicle acceleration and deceleration were recorded and replicated in test conditions.
13 cars and four lorries were tested.
“The key finding was that small diesel cars emitted far more pollution than larger cars and even lorries,” said Tate.
Other high polluters included a Vauxhall Astra, Ford Focus and BMW 318d.
“On average, the diesel cars tested emitted as much NO2 as 1,000 petrol-hybrid cars.
“These results also suggest that replacing diesel taxis with petrol-hybrids would be one of the quickest ways to improve city centre air quality,” he said.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said: “It beggars belief that 18 months after Dieselgate, motorists are still being sold vehicles that breach emission standards on the streets.”