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Official figures on car petrol usage and pollution in doubt

Friday 11 January 2013

Cars use an average 35% more fuel than the manufacturers claim, and those which are said to be most efficient are among the worst offenders, according to research carried out on behalf of Nos television.

The main reason is that manufacturers use officially-approved testing methods which fail to reflect real driving conditions and have not changed in decades, critics say.

The broadcaster bases its claims on research by Travelcard, a company which provides petrol station smart cards to the business car market.

The 400,000 cars in the Netherlands which use the Travelcard system were found to have used 402 million litres of fuel last year. However, based on the manufacturers' estimates, this should have been 290 million litres, Nos says.

Carbon dioxide

'This mounts up to an extra cost of several hundred euros,' Travelcard director Jan-Reint Vink told the broadcaster. 'We are also emitting more CO2 than expected. Whoever believes the manufacturers claims is mad.'

'You can only approach the official estimates if you drive constantly at 80 kph and sit behind a lorry,' Vink said. 'That is not normal driving behaviour.'

Some cars which on paper are among the most economic to drive use some 45% more fuel than the official estimates.

Tax breaks

VVD parliamentarian Helma Neppérus said a reaction that a new method needs to be devised to calculate how much petrol economy cars use.

Cars with low CO2 emissions are subject to hefty tax cuts in the Netherlands.

Neppérus said she planned to ask junior finance minister Frans Weekers to look into the claims.

Junior infrastructure minister Wilma Mansveld also called for change, Nos television said. The issue has already been raised in Brussels and the Netherlands is at the forefront of efforts to devise a new system, she said in a statement.

Earlier stories
Hybrids can be less fuel efficient than forecast
Tax break on green lease cars gets temporary reprieve

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I had all the papers from England to prove to Belastings that my car (mijn roelstol-auto en mijn Ambulance) was cleaner and Greener than the manufacturer's claims as I had so much 'Issues' inc., very serious Safety Issues concerning the engine management software (e.g cutting out on overtaking!) that the manufacturer, and their agents, spent days testing and re-writing code until it was Correct and the emissions went don from 151g/Km to 121. Average Km/L published was 15Km/l and that went up to 23Km/L. Power went up by almost 60% but more importantly Torque more than doubled. But Belastings refused to accept and kept increasing taxes and it ended life being Crushed to Death.

By Gerard | 11 January 2013 2:17 PM

Well, it may be true that the manufactures figures are inaccurate. But I don't think that many drivers care, judging by the way people are driving everyday. I spend about 12 hours a week driving to and from work and see many a driver's poor attitude to careful, considerate driving. It appears that impatience is the rule of the road. Otherwise they may achieve far better fuel efficiency and therefore lower CO2. . . . . .Just a thought.

By Gary Coombe | 11 January 2013 7:49 PM

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