Diesel cars pollute up to 10 times more than trucks and buses in Europe
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MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 09: Motorists queue up to get fuel at a fuel station in Madrid during the first day of a nationwide haulers strike on June 9, 2008 in Madrid, Spain. Photo credit: Denis Doyle/Getty Images Israel

MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 09: Motorists queue up to get fuel at a fuel station in Madrid during the first day of a nationwide haulers strike on June 9, 2008 in Madrid, Spain. Photo credit: Denis Doyle/Getty Images Israel

Researchers urge the EU to adopt stricter emissions standards for popular diesel cars

A surprising finding came out of a recent report from the International Council on Clean Transportation: In the EU, diesel cars produce more toxic emissions on the road than trucks and buses

According to the report, diesel cars fall through the cracks because once their prototypes pass emissions testing in a lab, they’re considered safe to drive, even though they produce far more emissions on actual roads than they do in a lab. Heavy duty vehicles like trucks and buses, on the other hand, are tested for emissions continuously with mobile devices and held to more stringent standards to meet regulations that were put in place in 2011.

The new research shows that trucks and buses in Germany and Finland produce less than half the emissions of diesel cars that meet current emissions standards. Even more startling, because, “Buses and trucks have larger engines and burn more diesel” per kilometer, the Guardian reports that diesel “cars produce 10 times more NOx” per liter of fuel and “97% of vehicles fail to meet NOx emissions standards in real-world conditions.”

As vehicle emissions contribute to the nitrogen oxides in the air that cause tens of thousands of early deaths across Europe each year, researchers behind the study urge officials to adopt more stringent regulations for diesel cars, which are very popular in the EU. Beginning in September, changes are coming to how cars’ emissions are measured. But those steps won’t be fully implemented until 2019. Researchers say that deadline needs to be moved up in light of the new findings.

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