Clean Cars Under the Spotlight as Green NCAP Releases First Emissions Ratings

Green NCAP releases first testing results 1 photo
Photo: Green NCAP
There are currently several methods to measure emissions levels and fuel consumption in cars, but none of them is fool proof, and all are subject to external factors that can make the results vary greatly.
That’s why Euro NCAP, the European safety watchdog usually tasked with rating car safety features, is now trying to set up a “tough new test regime” meant to expose “the gap between manufacturers’ claims and real-world performance” regarding emissions.

Called Green NCAP, the new program is backed by a number of organizations, including European governments, and will evaluate cars in laboratories in 8 European countries.

The new program announced this week the first-ever green ratings for 12 cars. Just like in the crash tests, cars will be rated with stars, 0 to 5, where 0 means “environmental performance just meeting the minimum regulatory standards,” and 5 stars “showing very low fuel or energy consumption and at the same time emitting low pollutants and greenhouse gasses.”

Green NCAP uses two indexes to rate the performance of the vehicles, and the average score of the two determines the number of stars a car will get.

The Clean Air Index measures how a vehicle mitigates emissions (unburnt hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulates), while the Energy Efficiency Index measures the efficiency with which energy is converted to propel the vehicle. The emission of greenhouse gases is also taken into account.

That being said, of the 12 cars tested by Green NCAP, only two achieved a top rating, and both are, unsurprisingly, electric cars: the Hyundai Ioniq and BMW i3. At the opposite end, the Volkswagen Golf 1.6TDI, Fiat Panda 1.0 and the previous version Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost got a zero star rating.

In between them, the Volkswagen up! GTI got four stars, the  BMW’s X1 2.0d and the Mercedes-Benz A200 each received three, the new generation Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost is rated as two stars and the Audi A7 50 TDI, the Volvo XC40 T5 and the Subaru Outback 2.5 only one.

Green NCAP admits that these tests are currently incomplete, as they only take into account energy used while driving. The organization does say well-to-wheel and ultimately the whole life-cycle of a car will be taken into account when determining the rating.

More details about the testing procedure and the rating for the cars can be found at the following link.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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