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Volvo Emissions Equality Campaign – Great move

Thu, 15 Jul 2010 00:00:00 -0700

The Volvo V70 - less polluting than a Fiat 500

Whenever we get the opportunity – as regular readers will know – we complain about the current obsession with CO2 emissions on cars and call for car makers and Governments to act on the emissions which actually matter – NOx, hydrocarbons and particulates (and here, and here, and here and…). And it looks like Volvo agrees.

Volvo are launching the ‘Emissions Equality Campaign to get car buyers to consider the whole picture when it comes to car emissions and not just look at the figure for CO2, which buyers have been brainwashed in to thinking matters (our view of CO2 – not Volvo’s).

Volvo are calling for a labelling scheme for all new and used cars so buyers can see figures for the emissions that really matter; the ones that pose a threat to health rather than the ones that do no damage whatsoever.

Apparently all the emissions data is already available for all cars since 2001 and Volvo have put together an App (Android as well as iPhone please) which will launch in the next few weeks to show owners – and potential buyers – exactly what the real tailpipe emissions are.

Maybe – just maybe – this is the first step by car makers in questioning the nonsense of CO2 targets and taxation based on CO2. Volvo are being careful not to say that, but we’re happy to. And Volvo are far from daft. The simple fact is that CO2 emissions are no guide to the amount of harmful NOx and particulates pumping out from a car.

Quite reasonably, Volvo takes the example of a 2.5 litre petrol V70 Estate which emitts 201mg/km of non-CO2 pollutants. Compare that with 484mg/km from a Fiat 500 with Stop-Start and you start to see what we’ve been banging on about.

Cars UK are delighted to support this new initiative by Volvo. We backed their campaign last year to tackle anomalous exemptions for congestion charging in London, and are happy to do so on this. Interestingly, when we reported on Volvo’s campaign last year, we said:

So Cars UK are happy to support Volvo in their aim of getting a fairer Congestion Charging exemption list in place. Of course, that would mean not just fixing an emissions exemption level, but coming up with real CO2 figures for so-called zero emission electric cars – which are only actually zero emission at the point of use. You would also need to take in to account the whole life CO2 cost of battery production for Hybrids. Or ignore all the CO2 claptrap completely and come up with NOx figures for all cars.

Which is not as far as Volvo are going, but it’s a step in the right direction at long last. Well done Volvo.

By Cars UK