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New diesel cars that emit almost ZERO NOx

ADAC emissions testing

It’s a breath of fresh air, if you will, to report some positive news about diesel. ADAC, the German equivalent of the RAC, has uncovered just how clean new clean diesels can be.

The answer? They’re all but NOx-free, with results indicating new Euro 6d diesels are, on average, over eight-times cleaner than the on-road standard, as recorded over a variety of tests.

ADAC has been stringently testing some modern diesels for emissions, using new test conditions and methodology, as well as real-world testing, to yield results that better represent what these cars are actually emitting. They’re promising, with NOx and CO2 readings coming back well within mandated limits.

Putting diesel to the test

On top of the new testing procedures, ADAC added an extra level of difficulty. The cars tested, which included a BMW X2, Peugeot 308, Volvo XC60 and more, were loaded up with 200kg of weight, had the air-con put on full blast and were subjected to a highway cycle. Included in testing was a measurement of exhaust gases during average on-road driving. No cheating the system here…

Not that it would be necessary. As above, the new clean diesels flew through without a hitch. For reference, the regulatory high standard (on a test bench) we’re looking for is below an average of 80mg/km. For road testing, it’s 168 mg/km.

The latest cleaning technology, including selective catalytic reduction and on-demand urea injection, kept the cars comfortably within nitrogen oxide standards. The BMW and Peugeot, running the 20d diesel engine and 2.0 BlueHDi engine respectively, both Euro 6d standard, were particular star performers.

The Peugeot in the WLTC test, Real Drive Emission (RDE), ADAC Ecotest and Autobahn test, got a high recording of 45 mg/km. The BMW got a high of 84 mg/km during the Autobahn testing but massively excelled in the other tests, with a low of just 13 mg/km in the WLTC test.

Both the Peugeot and the BMW produce averages well under 80 over the course of a strong variety of tests, including on-road testing. The Volvo didn’t have it quite so easily. The first three tests saw it perform adequately, but the Autobahn test saw a spike, at 239mg/km. The cause? Good old consumption of fuel – the Volvo used over a litre/100km more than the Peugeot and the X2 during the ADAC Ecotest.

Cold weather NOx testing – almost ZERO?

ADAC diesel emissions testing

Cold weather is generally considered to worsen NOx emissions. Tests that included a BMW 520d touring, Citroen Berlingo BlueHDi and an Opel Astra 1.6 D yielded some incredible results.

All three scored under 10mg/km of NOx. The BMW and the Astra registered just one mg/km. The Citroen scored seven mg/km. The highest score out of seven cars tested, by 16mg/km, was the Volvo, with 56 mg/km.

So what’s the overall result?

Overall, the average NOx recording for Euro 6d TEMP-standard diesel cars, over the course of a variety of tests including lab conditions, the real world and cold-weather, was 20mg/km. The real world standard is 168 mg/km. There you have it. An on-average standard that’s 8.4-times lower than the real world standard.

Europe warns reducing car emissions won’t be easy

EU Auditors emissions

In the four years since the Volkswagen ‘Dieselgate’ scandal, legislation has tightened around car exhaust emissions.

The changes are positive, so says the European Court of Auditors, but challenges remain in the implementation and enforcement of these rules.

Dieselgate response

After Dieselgate, the European Parliament set up an inquiry into emissions data acquisition, while the European Commission said it was going to shore up emissions data banks and resources

Emissions checks were changed, too, with reviews now possible into type-approval authorities as well as test vehicles. There are also now powers to withdraw or suspend type-approvals and impose penalties.

Testing is mandatory for all cars sold in EU counties and they must be available for third-party testing at any time. CO2 and NOx-focused emissions tests have also been introduced.

New rules, new challenges

EU Auditors emissions

The European Court of Auditors admits these changes are still fresh and says trying to measure their efficacy so soon would be unfair. 

Nevertheless, its urges vigilance to avoid a repeat of the same mistakes and/or deception, saying all countries in the EU must be united in their approach.

It adds that while third-party testing should be another level of scrutiny for the car industry, we won’t know its efficacy until such tests are realised. 

EU Auditors emissions

“We welcome the fact that the actions have been taken, but it may take many years to improve inner-city air quality, given the large number of highly-polluting cars already on the roads,” said Samo Jereb of the European Court of Auditors.

“Even though more than 10 million vehicles have been recalled so far, the limited data available indicates that the impact on NOx emissions has been small.”

The Motoring Research view

The spotlight the Volkswagen Group’s transgressions brought on the motor industry isn’t going away. Dieselgate was a scandal and it may not be the last. The ECA is right to highlight that regulatory bodies should remain vigilant.

We suspect that in 15 years, when the car market is dominated by EVs, this will seem like the distant past. For now, though, legislators and manufacturers can’t be too careful.

CO2 Emissions

Petrol and diesel ban is needed by 2030 to meet global warming targets

CO2 Emissions 2030

A report by the Guardian newspaper reveals how climate change targets set in the Paris agreement will only be met if oil-burning cars are banned by 2030 – 10 years sooner than the government’s 2040 target. Countries including India, Germany and the Netherlands have already set their targets for 2030.

The target is less of a go-to number and more of a global warming limit – set as a maximum of 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

To put the issue into perspective, a study by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), cited by the Guardian, claims a 2030 petrol and diesel car ban would be required for a little over 50 percent chance of not exceeding this maximum temperature change.

On the way to that, the number of oil-burning cars sold by 2022 would need to be as low as five million, versus 15 million sold this year. The study imagines that the last oil-burning car would be sold in 2028, and that they’d be fully legislated off the roads by 2040.

CO2 Emissions 2030

“Auto CO2-emissions need to peak as soon as possible,” said Professor Horst Friedrich, director of the DLR.

“Looking at the dwindling carbon budget, it is crucial to push low-emitting cars into the market – the earlier the better, to renew the fleet.”

We think the 2030 target seems unrealistic, barring an extreme hike in the offering and uptake of low- and zero-emissions vehicles. The rate of change is difficult to predict and, truthfully, out of the control of both manufacturers and legislators. It’s down to the former to offer products that appeal to the masses and the latter to install and upgrade infrastructure to suit.

Read more:

Dirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Dirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Dirty diesels: most polluting cars revealedDiesel emissions testing carried out by Which? has revealed the worst diesel cars for air pollution. The figures highlight a huge variation across the industry, with the worst offenders emitting up to nine times the level of dangerous pollutants permitted in official tests. Read on to discover more about the dirtiest diesels and how Which? conducted the tests.

There are emission laws in place to limit the amount of NOx produced by cars, but Which? has uncovered huge differences in the amount of NOx emissions produced by diesel cars from different brands. Crucially, Which? uses real-world tests, replicating the way drivers really drive their cars.

Which? has provided the averages for diesel cars tested between 2012 and 2016, with the results based on data for Euro 5 compliant cars, rather than the stricter Euro 6 emission limit. The results are presented in reverse order, with Euro 6 information included where applicable.

21. Mitsubishi: 0.31 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

The Euro 5 diesel limit is 0.18g/km of NOx, which means even the cleanest car on the list fails to meet the target. The Which? data is more accurate as the tests use more realistic cycles, including motorway testing, where the car is accelerated to and then sustains motorway speeds.

20. SEAT: 0.32 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Of the figures, Richard Headland, Which? magazine editor, said: “While our tests show that some car manufacturers are making progress on reducing the amount of toxic emissions from their models, many have a long way to go in cleaning up their act.”

SEAT, Euro 6: 0.11 NOx g/km.

19. Audi: 0.33 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Headland continued: “We hope that the improved official tests brought in later this year will more clearly name and shame those manufacturers that are failing to meet their obligation to lower emissions.”

Audi, Euro 6: 0.15 NOx g/km.

18. Skoda: 0.33 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

The improvements mentioned by Richard Headland refer to the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which replaces the much-criticised New European Drive Cycle (NEDC). In a nutshell, WLTP will introduce stricter controls and cycles to reflect normal driving behaviour.

Skoda, Euro 6: 0.14 NOx g/km.

17. Volkswagen: 0.34 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the NOx figures for SEAT, Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen are within 0.2g/km of each other. As Which? points out, the Euro 5 diesel cars tested are part of the ongoing VW emissions investigation, so a question mark remains over the results.

Volkswagen, Euro 6: 0.11 NOx g/km.

16. Volvo: 0.40 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Which? says it recorded a (comparatively) low NOx average across the seven Euro 5 Volvos it tested, but the four Euro 6 Volvo cars actually emit more NOx than the Euro 5 vehicles.

Volvo, Euro 6: 0.43 NOx g/km.

15. Toyota 0.40 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Toyota performed well, with the Euro 6 figure even lower at 0.13g/km. However, this is still higher than the 0.08g/km European limit for Euro 6 vehicles.

Toyota, Euro 6: 0.13 NOx g/km.

14. BMW: 0.41 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Which? is quick to praise BMW and MINI, saying that the 33 cars tested produced some of the lowest NOx averages for diesel cars. While MINI doesn’t feature in the Euro 5 results, it did produce the best result for Euro 6 compliant cars. A figure of 0.08g/km means it just meets the European target.

BMW, Euro 6: 0.14 NOx g/km.

13. Honda: 0.45 NOx g/mDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

To produce the figures, Which? analysed 278 diesel cars from leading manufacturers between 2012 and 2016. Five Honda vehicles were tested, producing a result of 0.45 NOx g/km.

12. Vauxhall: 0.46 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Other brands for which only Euro 6 compliant cars are tested include Dacia (0.59g/km), DS Automobiles (0.26g/km), Mazda (0.21g/km) and Jaguar (0.18g/km). Meanwhile, in the Euro 5 table, Vauxhall achieves a figure of 0.46g/km.

Vauxhall, Euro 6: 0.25 NOx g/km.

 

11. Fiat 0.48 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Meanwhile, four Fiats were tested, with a result of 0.48 NOx g/km.

10. Mercedes-Benz: 0.48 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

A total of 17 Mercedes-Benz cars were tested (7 Euro 5 and 17 Euro 6), with a Euro 5 result of 0.48g/km.

Mercedes-Benz, Euro 6: 0.15 NOx g/km.

9. Peugeot: 0.52 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Peugeot finishes 9th in the Euro 5 table, making it the best performing French brand on the list. Its Euro 6 performance is one of the best recorded by Which?.

Peugeot, Euro 6: 0.11 NOx g/km.

8. Kia: 0.53 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Kia finishes eighth, with a NOx figure of 0.53g/km.

Kia, Euro 6: 0.29 NOx g/km.

7. Citroen: 0.56 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Slightly behind Kia we find Citroen, with a NOx figure of 0.56g/km.

Citroen, Euro 6: NOx 0.16g/km.

6. Ford: 0.58 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

There’s not a huge amount of difference between Ford’s Euro 5 and Euro 6 figure, with the more lax Euro 5 test revealing an output of 0.58g/km.

Ford, Euro 6: 0.49 NOx g/km.

5. Hyundai: 0.60 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

Hyundai is committed to delivering 14 or more new environmentally-focused models by 2020, which should go some way to improving this top five finish.

Hyundai, Euro 6: 0.40 NOx g/km.

4. Renault: 0.73 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

NOx emissions from the 16 Renault diesel cars tested are seven times higher than the Euro 6 MINIs tested. In response, Renault said: “Since mid-2015, Groupe Renault has committed to improve the performance of its anti-pollution systems. The vehicles tested by Which? would not have benefitted from this improvement plan”.

Renault, Euro 6: 0.72 NOx g/km.

3. Land Rover: 0.78 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

In third place is Land Rover, which was one of six manufacturers for which the consumer group only has average figures for Euro 5 compliant cars.

2. Nissan: 0.81 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

In response to the results, Nissan said: “We are committed to upholding the law and meeting regulations in every market where we operate. Specifically in Europe, all our vehicles sold in Europe meet the Euro 5/6 emission standards. This report, which looks at the variation between lab and ‘real world’ conditions, shows significant variances for most brands tested”.

1. Jeep: 1.74 NOx g/kmDirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed

That leaves Jeep to secure the unwanted position at the top of the dirty diesels tree. Jeep failed to provide a response to the research.

SMMT warns that 'anti-diesel agenda' will hit falling CO2 emissions

SMMT warns that ‘anti-diesel agenda’ will hit falling CO2 emissions

SMMT warns that 'anti-diesel agenda' will hit falling CO2 emissions

The average CO2 emissions produced by new cars fell to a record low of 120.1g/km last year – but the trade body behind the data has issued a stern warning that this could change in 2017 as diesel resentment builds and motorists buy more petrol cars.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said that the shift towards diesel cars, which emit around 20% less CO2 than the equivalent petrol car on average, is partly responsible for average new car CO2 emissions falling by more than a third since 2000.

While diesel car registrations hit a record high in the UK last year, diesel’s market share fell by 0.8%. And these ‘tremendous’ gains could be wiped out as many drivers look to swap back to petrol models following Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal and increasing NOx pollution levels in urban areas, says the SMMT.

“The automotive industry has some of the most challenging CO2 reduction targets of any sector and continues to deliver reductions as it has for nearly two decades,” said SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes.

The organisation is concerned that new VED (vehicle excise duty – car tax) rules to be introduced on April 1 will wipe out incentives for motorists to buy ultra-low emission vehicles such as electric, hybrid or hydrogen-powered cars.

Under the new system, two thirds (66%) of the alternative fuel vehicles currently eligible for free road tax will be subject to an annual charge of £130. Those with a list price of more than £40,000 will be subject to a further £310 surcharge for the first five years.

Hawes added: “For this positive trend to continue, modern low emission diesels and AFVs such as plug-ins, hydrogen and hybrids must be encouraged with long term incentives. Turning our back on any of these will undermine progress on CO2 targets as well as air quality objectives. The UK has a successful track record in encouraging these new technologies but this must be maintained through a consistent approach to fiscal and other incentives.”

SMMT warns that 'anti-diesel agenda' will hit falling CO2 emissions

SMMT warns that 'anti-diesel agenda' will hit falling CO2 emissions

SMMT warns that 'anti-diesel agenda' will hit falling CO2 emissions

The average CO2 emissions produced by new cars fell to a record low of 120.1g/km last year – but the trade body behind the data has issued a stern warning that this could change in 2017 as diesel resentment builds and motorists buy more petrol cars.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said that the shift towards diesel cars, which emit around 20% less CO2 than the equivalent petrol car on average, is partly responsible for average new car CO2 emissions falling by more than a third since 2000.

While diesel car registrations hit a record high in the UK last year, diesel’s market share fell by 0.8%. And these ‘tremendous’ gains could be wiped out as many drivers look to swap back to petrol models following Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal and increasing NOx pollution levels in urban areas, says the SMMT.

“The automotive industry has some of the most challenging CO2 reduction targets of any sector and continues to deliver reductions as it has for nearly two decades,” said SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes.

The organisation is concerned that new VED (vehicle excise duty – car tax) rules to be introduced on April 1 will wipe out incentives for motorists to buy ultra-low emission vehicles such as electric, hybrid or hydrogen-powered cars.

Under the new system, two thirds (66%) of the alternative fuel vehicles currently eligible for free road tax will be subject to an annual charge of £130. Those with a list price of more than £40,000 will be subject to a further £310 surcharge for the first five years.

Hawes added: “For this positive trend to continue, modern low emission diesels and AFVs such as plug-ins, hydrogen and hybrids must be encouraged with long term incentives. Turning our back on any of these will undermine progress on CO2 targets as well as air quality objectives. The UK has a successful track record in encouraging these new technologies but this must be maintained through a consistent approach to fiscal and other incentives.”

CO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

CO2 champions: best cars for real-world CO2 emissions

CO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissionsNo matter how impressive a car’s claimed CO2 figures are, the planet won’t be saved if they’re not actually achievable in the real world. That’s exactly what Volkswagen tried to circumvent with its emissions-cheating defeat device, and is now paying many billions as the price for this subterfuge.

British company Emissions Analytics has thus developed a new set of tests that aim to showcase the actual on-road emissions of Britain’s cars.

We’ve already exposed the worst performers, but it seems only fair to also showcase the best of the best – the brand with the lowest real-world CO2, and those with the least variance from official figures: the ‘honesty factor’, if you like. First, then, it’s the best performers. Which car companies emit the lowest levels of CO2?

10: DaciaCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Don’t want to spend much on a new car but still want to put out manageable levels of CO2 in the real world? Choose Dacia, whose range emits an average of 171g/km in real-world tests.

9: Alfa RomeoCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Want something a bit sportier and more emotive? Try Alfa Romeo, whose range emits 169g/km in real-world tests. This is helped by it only selling two relatively compact cars – how will the launch of the new Giulia affect things?

8: FiatCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Fiat is the volume sister company to Alfa Romeo. Its range, surprisingly, emits the same 169g/km CO2 figure in the real world, but it gets the nod over the premium brand here because the variance from claimed figures is less.

7: SkodaCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Skoda is a brand that trades on practicality and spaciousness. So it’s good to learn picking one of its practical cars won’t hurt your real-world CO2 emissions. It’s the seventh-best brand in the UK here.

6: MazdaCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Mazda may sell lots of sporty MX-5 roadsters, but that doesn’t mean its range-average CO2 emissions suffer in the real world. On average, Mazda cars emit 168g/km CO2.

5: SeatCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Seat is the sporty sibling of Skoda and its range of cars emit slightly less CO2, on average. The variance is a little higher over official figures, though.

4: PeugeotCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Peugeot has been working hard on cutting CO2 emissions of its cars both on paper and in the real world. This seems to be paying dividends on the road. It’s the fourth best brand here.

3: SuzukiCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Small car specialist Suzuki is a real star. Not only are its real-world CO2 emissions capped at 161g/km, they also show the lowest variance from official figures in this top 10 collection.

2: ToyotaCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Toyota is a green-focused volume brand and, although its CO2 figures show a variance factor of 2.6 over official stats, it’s still much lower than most other volume brands at 160g/km.

1: CitroenCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

The clear leader for emitting low levels of CO2 in the real world is Citroen. Its margin of superiority over any other brand is hefty, with its range of cars emitting just 152g/km in real-world testing. A really impressive performance indeed from the increasingly innovative French car company.

The car brands with real-world CO2 closest to claimed figuresCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

If you’re a car brand that has high official CO2 figures, the last thing you want is for those to go even higher in the real world. Emissions Analytics has looked at this too – and revealed the top 10 brands with the lowest variance from official figures – the best ‘honesty factors’, if you like. Some of them are bad, but at least they’re little worse in practice than the claim to be…

10: MitsubishiCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Nissan has just bought a majority stake in its Japanese rival Mitsubishi. It’s only been able to do this because Mitsubishi has been caught lying in fuel economy tests for the past 25 years. So Nissan will be pleased to discover UK figures show Mitsubishi’s real-world CO2 emissions to have the 10th-lowest variance to those claimed…

9: ChevroletCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Chevrolet cars, on average, emit 180g/km CO2 in real-world testing. This is closer than many brands to those claimed in the official figures. Good to know if you’re buying a cheap secondhand model: the brand is no longer sold new in the UK.

8: PorscheCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Sports car manufacturer Porsche naturally has rather a high real-world CO2 average. But the divergence from claimed figures is less than most high-volume, low CO2 brands.

7: LexusCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Lexus is a premium car company famed for its green-focused hybrids. Some question whether these actually deliver in the real world: Emissions Analytics’ figures suggest they do, with the seventh lowest divergence from official figures in the real world. Better than rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz…

6: SsangYongCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

On average, SsangYong models emit 206g/km CO2 in real-world testing. This shows less variance than many other specialist SUV manufacturers. And its variance factor of 1.8…

5: SuzukiCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

…is matched by small car specialist Suzuki – which boasts significantly lower real-world CO2 emissions of 161g/km.

4: HondaCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Honda is yet another Japanese brand in the top 10 car makers whose real-world CO2 figures show the least variance from official stats. On average, Honda vehicles emit 180/km CO2.

3: JeepCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

The top three brands are all impressive. SUV specialist Jeep may emit a steep 200g/km CO2 in the real world, but the variance from claimed figures is just 1.1. Two British specialists go one better, though.

2: Aston MartinCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Aston Martin’s real-world CO2 figures are ultra-high at 314g/km. But the variance factor is a perfect 1.0, suggesting that it is little worse in the real world than the figures claim.

1: LotusCO2 champions: best cars for real-world emissions

Topping our list here is Lotus. Its real-world CO2 has, like Aston Martin, an almost ideal 1.0 variance factor over official stats. And those emissions are significantly lower than Aston, at 177g/km, adding to its green credentials. Despite its high-performance specialist sports cars, it’s actually the second-lowest brand for CO2 in the best-performing real world car makers.

Porsche

Hot air: the worst cars for real-world CO2 emissions

PorscheSince the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the spotlight has been focused on the real world emissions of cars, rather than those produced in a lab. As Volkswagen proved, you can post exceptional results under test conditions, only for the reality to be very different indeed.

One organisation is taking a lead. Vehicle testing firm Emissions Analytics is checking the tailpipe emissions of every new car on sale, under its EQUA initiative. It’s already published data for NOx and carbon monoxide: now, it has released the findings of its latest tests for CO2 emissions – which shows car brands overall are missing their target by a whopping 39%. And some are worse still…

The British company’s number-crunching has created two figures: an indication the actual real-world CO2 for all cars on sale, plus a ‘variance factor’ that reveals by how much the real world varies from the official figure. Call this an ‘honesty rating’: 1 is most honest, 5 is least honest.

All new cars are sold with a quoted CO2 figure, which is used to calculate road tax and company car tax. But as Emissions Analytics shows, the cars of certain brands are performing far worse in reality than the figure suggest…

The car manufacturers with the highest real-world CO2

Emissions Analytics

First, to the car brands that produce the most CO2 in the real world, as opposed to a sterile and fully-controlled test bench. These makes of car are, simply put, the very biggest emitters of CO2. They’re the global warming anti-heroes.

10: Audi – 191g/km

Audi

Surprisingly, for all its TDI diesel engines and e-tron plug-in hybrids, it’s Audi that has the 10th highest real-world CO2 figure. Blame all those big Q5s and Q7s, plus the R8 supercar? Well, yes, but also blame an EQUA variance factor ‘honesty rating’ of 2.7 over what its official NEDC figures state and how the cars perform in real life. Remember, 1 is most honest and 5 is least honest.

9: Jeep – 200g/km

Jeep

Jeep is an SUV manufacturer. It makes big, thirsty 4x4s. So it’s perhaps no surprise to see it appear in the CO2 emissions bad books. It’s not all bad news though: when Jeep says it’s bad in official figures, the real-world figures at least prove it’s being honest – its variance factor is just 1.1, compared to Audi’s 2.7.

8: SsangYong – 206g/km

SsangYong

Nearly all of SsangYong’s cars are big, too: the smallest car it makes is the Nissan Qashqai-rivalling Tivoli. Jeep’s are generally bigger though, and both its overall CO2 figure and the real-world variance over claims are better than SsangYong’s…

7: Jaguar – 207g/km

Jaguar

Jaguar’s cars are sporty and premium. The XE has yet to have a big impact on the range, so its overall brand CO2 is driven up by the XF, the F-Type, the XJ. CO2 emissions that vary by 2.5 times over official figures aren’t so clever either, though.

6: Lexus – 211g/km

Lexus

Jaguar produces less CO2 than Lexus? Hang on a minute, surely that’s not right – Lexus is the brand of the hybrid, after all? Well, yes, but it’s also a brand that sells a lot of RX SUVs. A lower variance factor of 1.9 isn’t enough to offset that – oh, and the fact it doesn’t sell CO2-cutting diesels, either.

5: Infiniti – 213g/km

08_infiniti

This is a poor result for Infiniti. According to Emissions Analytics, its quoted CO2 figures underplay the real-world CO2 of its cars by an ‘honesty factor’ of 3.6. The everyday CO2 of its cars is a stonking 213g/km, meaning it puts out more carbon dioxide as a brand than 4×4 specialist Jeep. We thought this brand was meant to be the smart-thinker’s alternative?

4: Subaru – 214g/km

Subaru

Subaru’s turbo boxer engines sound good in the real world, but you’re best listening to them from a safe distance: their actual CO2 emissions are much higher than the claimed figures.

3: Land Rover – 223g/km

Land Rover

Like Jeep, Land Rover only makes SUVs. Big, posh, heavy SUVs, like the Range Rover and Discovery. The Evoque has helped bring down its range-average CO2 figures, but a variance factor of 2.6 pushes it back up again: bronze medal in the list of manufacturers with the highest real-world CO2.

2: Porsche – 240g/km

Porsche

Porsche’s sports cars are naturally rather thirsty, and so naturally put out a lot of CO2. Even the slowest, cheapest 911 does 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds – you don’t get such performance without using a bit more fuel than average. Its range CO2 figures are pushed up further in the real world due to a variance factor of 2.0 over what it claims, too.

1: Aston Martin – 314g/km

Aston Martin

It’s perhaps no surprise to find a supercar manufacturer tops the list of the brands with the highest real-world CO2. Aston Martin’s cars all have V8s and V12s, after all. What’s positive for the brand is that its variance factor is a mere 1.0 – it says it’s bad, but it’s very honest when it says this, too.

And now it’s onto the brands whose CO2 figures mysteriously show the biggest variance in the real world compared to what they can achieve in the lab – this is precisely what let Volkswagen down…

The car manufacturers with the biggest real-world variance to official CO2 figures

Ford

Car manufacturers blame the flawed NEDC test. Campaign groups say there’s something fishy going on. Experts say brands have simply learnt how to best perfect cars to do well in the very-limited-scope official emissions test, without resorting to cheating.

Whatever the reason, there’s no denying the real-world results are often very different to what’s officially claimed in the legislated CO2 figures. And here are the worst offenders – the brands with the worst ‘honesty ratings’.

Chrysler – 3.1 times variance factor

Chrysler

American brand Chrysler benefits from being part of Fiat, which includes sharing Fiat engines. Which, according to Emissions Analytics, aren’t quite as green in real life as the test figures claim. Another reason for the brand being withdrawn from the UK?

Peugeot – 3.1 times variance factor

Peugeot

Peugeot’s real-world CO2 figures also vary over claimed statistics by a hefty factor of 3.1. And this, from a brand that’s committed to releasing real-world economy statistics for its cars. How long before customers force it to cut down this yawning variance?

Renault – 3.1 times variance factor

Renault

Renault’s HQ was raided by investigators looking into evidence of emissions test skulduggery. We’ve heard nothing since so clearly there’s nothing to report – but news of a real-world variance factor of 3.1 over claimed figures should still provide food for thought.

Volvo – 3.2 times variance factor

Volvo

Volvo prides itself on being a safe, upstanding brand, and part of this sensible-shoes image is serving up great MPG and low CO2 figures. This image takes a bit of a dent, though, as Emissions Analytics finds an honesty rating of 3.2 over what it says and what real-world figures say.

Fiat – 3.4 times variance factor

Fiat

Fiat’s range is dominated by small cars such as the 500 and Panda, models that will be bought to use mainly in city centres and to save fuel. Pity, then, the honesty rating of 3.4 suggests the real-world CO2 is not very likely to come close to what the official figures say…

Ford – 3.4 times variance factor

Ford

This is a significant result, because Ford is Britain’s best-selling car brand. According to Emissions Analytics, its CO2 figures have a variance factor ‘honesty rating’ of 3.4 compared to the official claimed NEDC figures, indicating that in the real world, its cars are not very likely to get close to the official stats.

Infiniti – 3.6 times variance factor

Infiniti

Remember, Infiniti emits one of the highest amounts of CO2: a variance factor of 3.6 suggests it’s less honest in the real world than the figures say it is. It’s not an enviable position for the premium challenger to be.

Alfa Romeo – 3.6 times variance factor

Alfa Romeo

Alfa joins Infiniti on the third-place spot in the honesty rating league table. The firm has to date sold just two cars, the Giulietta and the Mito: will the arrival of the fancy new Giulia help improve matters for the sporty Italian brand? It’s also significant in being the third Fiat Auto brand in the bottom 10…

DS – 4.7 times variance factor

DS

The second-worst car brand for real-world CO2 diverging from the official figures is posh Citroen sister company DS. As Citroen itself isn’t among the bottom 10 (indeed, the C3 diesel is the only car to achieve the best-possible A1 rating), we’re not quite sure why this is so – perhaps the diesel-hybrid DS 5 is having an effect? Whatever the cause, it’s worth bearing in mind if you’re buying a DS with low CO2 in mind.

Smart – 5.0 times variance factor

Smart

The least honest brand for real-world CO2 figures? Surprisingly, it’s Smart – makers of the urban-hero Fortwo city car. Smart’s real-world CO2 is the furthest from the official rating of any manufacturer on sale, by the maximum-possible variance factor ‘honesty rating’ of 5.0, which means its real-world fuel economy is likely to be least like the glowing official stats as well. You may think you’re doing your bit for global warming by choosing a Smart, but the planet in reality might not thank you.

We’re not buying enough electric cars

Smart electric drive

The government is unlikely to meet its climate change targets and it’s all our fault. Put simply, we’re not buying enough electric cars.

Generous subsidies aren’t enough of an incentive for us to buy EVs in the numbers expected, as Britain struggles to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 compared with 1990 levels.

In basic terms, around 60% of all cars and lorries on the roads of Britain must be all-electric by the year 2030. Crucially, ultra-low emission vehicles should make up 9% of the overall fleet by the start of the next decade.

Mary Creagh, who chairs the environmental audit committee, said: “We need 9% of all new cars to be ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020 if we’re going to meet our climate change targets at the lowest cost to the public. But the department’s forecasts show it will get only half way to this target.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) expects between 3% and 7% of cars to be electric by the end of the decade.

At present, electric vehicles account for less than 1% of new car sales, despite the government offering up to £4,500 towards the cost of an EV. Part of the problem is the lack of a charging infrastructure, with the majority of public charging points found in London.

Mrs Creagh went on to say: “This failure risks making it more expensive to meet our long-term carbon reduction targets. With no strategy, we have no confidence that the DfT will meet this target.”

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), told the Guardian that ‘manufacturers were investing billions of pounds in developing new electric and hybrid vehicles’ and pointed to the increase in the number of electric vehicles available to the public.

Last month, campaign group Go Ultra Low argued that motorists in the UK are buying more electric vehicles than ever, with year-to-date electric car registrations up 31.8% compared with the first six months of 2015.

Close to 70,000 units have been registered since the government introduced its Plug-in Car Grant in January 2011. The Nissan Leaf remains the most popular all-electric vehicle, with 2,336 registrations in the first half of 2016.

The availability of the Plug-in Grant has been extended to March 2018, by which time we’ll know if Britain is any closer to meeting its emissions targets. Don’t hold your breath.

We're not buying enough electric cars

Smart electric drive

The government is unlikely to meet its climate change targets and it’s all our fault. Put simply, we’re not buying enough electric cars.

Generous subsidies aren’t enough of an incentive for us to buy EVs in the numbers expected, as Britain struggles to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 compared with 1990 levels.

In basic terms, around 60% of all cars and lorries on the roads of Britain must be all-electric by the year 2030. Crucially, ultra-low emission vehicles should make up 9% of the overall fleet by the start of the next decade.

Mary Creagh, who chairs the environmental audit committee, said: “We need 9% of all new cars to be ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020 if we’re going to meet our climate change targets at the lowest cost to the public. But the department’s forecasts show it will get only half way to this target.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) expects between 3% and 7% of cars to be electric by the end of the decade.

At present, electric vehicles account for less than 1% of new car sales, despite the government offering up to £4,500 towards the cost of an EV. Part of the problem is the lack of a charging infrastructure, with the majority of public charging points found in London.

Mrs Creagh went on to say: “This failure risks making it more expensive to meet our long-term carbon reduction targets. With no strategy, we have no confidence that the DfT will meet this target.”

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), told the Guardian that ‘manufacturers were investing billions of pounds in developing new electric and hybrid vehicles’ and pointed to the increase in the number of electric vehicles available to the public.

Last month, campaign group Go Ultra Low argued that motorists in the UK are buying more electric vehicles than ever, with year-to-date electric car registrations up 31.8% compared with the first six months of 2015.

Close to 70,000 units have been registered since the government introduced its Plug-in Car Grant in January 2011. The Nissan Leaf remains the most popular all-electric vehicle, with 2,336 registrations in the first half of 2016.

The availability of the Plug-in Grant has been extended to March 2018, by which time we’ll know if Britain is any closer to meeting its emissions targets. Don’t hold your breath.