In our AutomotiveBit of 22 January 2016, we had announced that in early February the European Parliament would vote on a motion to block the Commission’s draft Regulation on Real Driving Emissions (RDE). The proponents of the motion did not agree with the doubling of the official emission limit for car nitrogen oxides (NOx) from 80 mg/km to 168 mg/km as suggested by the draft.

The issue was heavily debated and led to the Commission promising a review clause whereby it will reconsider the official limits as technology advances. It also submitted another draft Regulation proposing a major overhaul of the process applied in the EU to certify that a car model meets all requirements prior to being put on the EU market (see our AutomotiveBit of 29 January 2016). In doing so, Environment Committee chair Giovanni La Via, said “the European Commission delivered”.

The above commitments from the Commission contributed to the European Parliament rejecting the motion to block the Commission’s draft Regulation on RDE by 323 votes to 317, with 61 abstentions on 3 February 2016. The vote clears the way for the European Commission to go ahead with the second RDE package.

The Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) stated that “automobile manufacturers welcome the much-needed clarity, and are eager to move forward by implementing the new testing conditions”, thereby bringing the current real NOx emissions down from levels exceeding the official limit by 400-500% (400-480 mg/km).