Mar 13 2018 | by Louise Woodhams
Green NCAP, the new consumer programme to promote greener cars, has just launched its first round of results after rating 12 cars in a tough test regime which explores the gap between manufacturers’ claims and real-world performance.
Comprising European governments, motoring clubs, consumer groups and universities, Green NCAP aims to promote cars that are less polluting and more fuel- and energy-efficient by providing consumers with independent information about cars’ performance in tests that go well beyond legislative requirements to uncover the differences between manufacturers’ emissions-control strategies.
It is hoped that the project will encourage car manufacturers to beat their competitors by innovating in the field of energy efficiency and emission reduction, and provide clarity for consumers who often don’t get the fuel economy officially claimed for their vehicles.
In the first round of tests from Green NCAP, which for now only considers the energy used while driving, it is the fully electric Hyundai Ioniq and BMW i3 who have achieved a maximum five-star rating. Electric vehicles are the cleanest and most efficient choice currently available and it would be a huge step forward if all cars could achieve the five-star level that these electric cars are at already.
Green NCAP will soon include driving range in its assessment, as well as the whole life-cycle of the vehicle – from the energy used to produce it, the energy it consumes in its lifetime and the energy needed to scrap and recycle its parts – which may close the gap between electric cars and those powered by fossil fuels. For some of the petrol and diesel cars, there is a trade-off between pollutant-control and good energy efficiency. The results highlight the strategies that manufacturers have used in order to achieve one or the other. The Green NCAP rating scheme presses for both.