GreenNCAP launches to rate emissions, fuel efficiency and more
EuroNCAP has announced the launch of its subsidiary, GreenNCAP, which will test vehicles not on their crash worthiness but emissions, fuel efficiency and more.
With Europe moving to stricter standards around vehicle emissions, EuroNCAP has launched GreenNCAP which intends to spotlight more environmentally friendly vehicles and “explores the gap between manufacturers’ claims and real-world performance”.
GreenNCAP has already rated 12 new vehicles under its test regime. But just how are these new vehicles being tested? For a start, GreenNCAP is using rental cars as it wants to use low mileage vehicles that have already been run in, and there are eight laboratories around Europe contributing.
The first part of the test is a rolling road and adheres to the protocol of the World-harmonised Light-vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) which replaces the New European Test Cycle which has been in use for almost 40 years and is the basis of ADR fuel consumption and emissions testing in Australia.
However, GreenNCAP deviates slightly from WLTC, “All tests are performed with an ambient temperature of about 14°C which is much closer to the European average than the one used in the legislative test cycle. In addition, the conditioning of the car corresponds more to the real world: the test is driven with a realistic payload and with activation of typical vehicle systems like headlights and air-conditioning”. Within the testing, there are five tests, covering WLTC Cold, WLTC Warm with Standard Mode, WLTC Warm with Eco-Mode, WLTC Warm with Sports-Mode and a Motorway Cycle.
Once the lab test has been completed, GreenNCAP then conducts on-road testing with portable emissions gear. While it claims to adhere to the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) assessment introduced into Europe last year, it deviates slightly.
“Green NCAP expands the RDE to make it more challenging and to test under less frequently occurring but realistic traffic situations. Green NCAP’s vision is that an engine shall be clean and energy efficient in every operation point under the torque curve. Examples of these enhanced boundary conditions of the PEMS+ test compared to the regulatory RDE test are 0 – 1300 m altitude vs 0 -700m or an ambient temperature between -7 to 35°C instead of 0 to 30 °C.”
But, this, says GreenNCAP, is only the beginning. “For now, Green NCAP considers only the energy used while driving (‘tank to wheel’), but in time, well-to-wheel and ultimately the whole life-cycle will be considered, including the energy used to produce the vehicle, the energy it consumes in its lifetime and the energy needed to scrap and recycle its parts.”
In announcing the launch of GreenNCAP and its first round of results, Pierre Castaing, Chairman of Euro NCAP, said, “For years, there has been a mismatch between the way cars perform in regulatory tests and how they perform on the road. Consumers often don’t get the fuel economy officially claimed for their vehicles and end up paying for the difference in fuel. Now, legislation is tightening-up, but consumer testing can complement it and go a step further: it can really encourage car manufacturers to beat their competitors by innovating in the field of energy efficiency and emission reduction. We’re confident that they will respond to the challenge, to the benefit of car-buyers and the environment.”