The Australian Automobile Association has announced that it will fund a study into real world emissions outputs from road vehicles in Australia. The output of the research will be presented to the Government to help develop new emissions standards.
The CEO of the association approved the funding after several months of the VW scandal regarding software that adjusted a vehicle’s management system to pass a test. In recent posts I have covered the fact that the tests are so far removed from the real world that they were essentially useless and I also covered the fact that in the UK, a Government department paid to have similar research done and then ignored the findings, which confirmed that the emissions produced by most cars was above the agreed limits defined by various Governments.
The Australian study will take 18 months and the results will go to the Ministerial Forum for Vehicle Emissions and is hoped to be an input into how the Government will meet it’s 2030 climate change targets. Certainly it will help with the recent COP21 (Conference of Parties) agreement that Australia signed up to in Paris.
Perhaps the time is right and VW has actually helped the world by falling on their sword. Without the software going public earlier this year, we would not have such a focus on the issue of emissions, smog and other by-products of driving. I hope that the research provides tangible and quality results that can influence engineers to develop new technologies and the marketeers to get it into new vehicles.
By the time the research is released, Australia will have lost it’s big three manufacturers, Ford, Toyota and GM Holden, with a few niche players left. With all the free trade agreements in place, it will be interesting to see if the Australian Government will have the commitment to a) define their own emissions targets for vehicles and b) force the European, Korean and Japanese manufacturers to tune cars specifically for such a small market. If they don’t have the commitment, the research could be a waste of time and money, sadly.