The European Commission has inaugurated two new laboratories to scale up the capacity to test emissions from cars on the EU market.
Located within the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy, the Vehicle Emissions Laboratory (VELA) will allow the Commission to determine whether vehicles comply with relevant emissions regulations, improving the ability to conduct market surveillance of vehicles.
It will enable emissions testing in regulated and simulated real driving conditions across a wide range of ambient conditions such as temperature, humidity and pressure, which affect the final emissions performance of vehicles.
It follows the overhaul of the EU vehicle type approval legislation in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, also called Dieselgate, which revealed real driving emissions in some cases exceeded values measured in the legislative certification test.
The regulation significantly overhauls and tightens the previous system of type approval by introducing a mandatory market surveillance of motor vehicles.
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market said: “While controls of cars placed on the market are Member States’ responsibility, since September 2020 the Commission is able to carry out checks on cars, trigger EU-wide recalls and impose fines of up to €30,000 [£25,203] per car when the law is broken.
“With this new state-of-the-art car emission testing facility, we are now better equipped than ever to improve air quality for European citizens, restore consumer confidence, strengthen the Single Market and support the global competitiveness of Europe’s car industry.”