Independent Air Quality Index reveals how vehicles perform environmentally on real-road test route.
VW Group diesels take top 6 positions
The Volkswagen Group Emission Scandal rocked the company but independent, real-road, tests suggest its vehicles are among the least polluting. The EQUA Air Quality Index rates cars from “A” to “H” based on the amount of nitrogen oxides which enter the atmosphere. The most environmentally friendly claim the “A” rating.
The VW Group - which incorporates brands such as Audi and SKODA – takes the first 6 “A” places in the diesel category. The 2014 Audi A5 is the best performer in 2.0-litre, 161bhp, 2-wheel-drive, manual form. It is followed by the: Skoda Superb (2016), VW Golf SV (2015), VW Passat (2016), VW Scirocco (2015), and VW Touran (2016).
The Air Quality Index suggests the company's petrol vehicles perform well too. The Volkswagen Group, in fact, takes the top 4 spots with the 2015 Audi A1 first in 1.4-litre, 123bhp, 2-wheel-drive, manual form. It is followed by the: Audi A3 (2015), Audi A4 (2016) and Audi RS3 (2016) which come 2nd, 3rd and 4th, respectively.
Purpose of Air Quality Index
Emissions Analytics compiles the eco-index and claims it: “Enables a fair comparison to be made between different models” on the market. It is required as: “Europe is currently in the position that the official data does not measure real-world emissions, and data from manufacturers is piecemeal and not independent”, it says.
How emission data is compiled
The company tests vehicles via a standardised route that incorporates urban roads, rural roads and motorways. The objective is to reflect typical – rather than extreme – driving styles. To ensure consistency, vehicles are tested in the same manner, by the same team of experts, in a consistent range of climatic conditions.
Vehicles carry a portable emissions measurement system that analyses exhaust output second by second, Emissions Analytics explains. It is the same system used for official compliance testing. Furthermore, its components typically cover much of the tailgate, protrude beyond the rear bumper then rise up to the roof.
Index minimises confusion among motorists, hints company founder
Emissions Analytics Chief Executive Officer and founder, Nick Molden, suggests: “There’s a great deal of confusion among car buyers on the subject of pollutant emissions, but we’re able to deliver impartial and precise information to help them buy better.”
Mr Molden continues: “Recent headlines (VW Group) have highlighted the issue that real-world emissions can be 4 times or more higher than official NOx emissions figures. Designed to be clear and concise, the EQUA Air Quality Index allows manufacturers and retailers to show how different models compare in the showroom.”