Thermal cars still pollute as much despite technological progress. It is a report from the European Court of Auditors which establishes this fact and confirms the benefits of electrification.
In recent years, polluting emissions from the automotive sector have been declining. Electrification is obviously the cornerstone of this reduction in pollution. We can think that thermal car technologies also contribute to this reduction.
A report from the Court of Auditors shows that this is clearly not the case over the last fifteen years. Because since 2010, the European Union has set specific rules for passenger cars. And since 2012, the rules have been even more drastic for manufacturers. But according to the European Court of Auditors, it was not until 2020 that emissions “decrease significantly”.
And the teaching of this fact points to the fact that heat engines have no link with this progress. Emissions did not in fact fall between 2009 and 2019, “mainly because manufacturers have focused on reducing emissions measured in the laboratory rather than on the road”notes the report.
Technological progress linked to the efficiency of thermal engines does not change much. We thus reach a certain glass ceiling.
Air pollution remains the main environmental health risk
WLTP cycle helps reduce emissions
The reduction of emissions then depended on the way of driving to optimize the mechanics. The fact that technology reduces polluting emissions comes from the arrival of electric technologies. “As emissions in real conditions from combustion engine cars have not decreased, this drop is mainly explained by the significant growth in electric vehicles”continues the Court.
In 2017, the arrival of the WLTP cycle made it possible to more precisely adjust consumption and emissions. If it is not yet very realistic, it is much more realistic than the old NEDC protocol. “This change made it possible to close many loopholes that had appeared in the previous test cycle and to reduce the gap between emissions measured in the laboratory and those observed on the road.”
However, the Court of Auditors is also concerned about insufficient measures for 2030: “The main challenge to meeting the emissions reduction targets for 2030 and beyond will be to ensure that there is a sufficient shift towards zero-emission vehicles by individuals.”
“It will be particularly important to make electric vehicles affordable. It will be necessary to put in place enough charging infrastructure and to guarantee the supply of raw materials necessary for the production of batteries.”
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