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Europe is moving towards a new Dieselgate?

The European climate group Transport & Environment has accused automakers of falsifying data on emissions of harmful substances. Experts tested the charging hybrids BMW X5, Volvo XC60, and Mitsubishi Outlander and found that in real-world operation, PHEV crossovers emit much more carbon dioxide CO2 vapors than was stated during the certification process.

Transport & Environment report titled “Europe heading for a new Dieselgate?" The results of the study can destroy the image of charged hybrids that are considered promising and send them to the dustbin of history after diesel.

Experts found that even under ideal conditions with a fully charged traction battery, the CO2 emissions of the test PHEV machines were worse than the passport characteristics. The BMW X5 is 28% more harmful than the automaker claims, the Volvo XC60 has 62% higher emissions, and the Mitsubishi Outlander has 89% higher emissions!

The situation is even worse when the battery is discharged and the crossover moves without a hybrid assistant: the exhaust of Volvo and Mitsubishi becomes” dirtier “ than indicated in the ad, 3-4 times, and BMW-eight times. Finally, driving in the battery charging mode from the internal combustion engine further worsens emissions: the petrol-electric X5 has a CO2 concentration in the exhaust gases that increases by one and a half times, exceeding the stated figure by 12 times!

It was not possible to repeat the certification results of emissions on any charged hybrid, and PHEV crossovers failed not only the environmental test: the autonomy of electric cars without activating the internal combustion engine was also noticeably less.

Plug-in hybrids are fake electric vehicles that are created for tax breaks and laboratory testing, and not for real driving. The expert emphasizes that the European Union needs to stop allocating multibillion-dollar subsidies for the purchase of such vehicles, since stimulating sales of “socket” hybrids has nothing to do with the environment.

Automakers reject all the accusations of environmentalists: a representative of Volvo said that all cars of the Swedish company “fully comply with the current legislation on emissions”, and Mitsubishi drew attention to the imperfection of measurements due to changeable conditions and opaque methodology. A representative of the European Association of automobile manufacturers in an interview with Euronews pointed to long trips during the Transport & Environment test-the official expressed the opinion that such operation is “atypical for plug-in hybrids”.

Tougher European environmental standards have resulted in plug-in hybrids accounting for almost 50% of sales of electric and electrified vehicles in the European Union in 2020. If Transport & Environment manages to prove the carmaker's fraud with emissions from gasoline-electric models, the industry will face a big scandal with unpredictable consequences.

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