Belfast Telegraph

Sadiq Khan hails online vehicle emissions checker

A new emissions scoring scheme will help motorists avoid buying highly polluting vehicles, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said.

Launching the initiative during a visit to Paris, Mr Khan said the online "cleaner vehicle checker" would give purchasers more control over what type of vehicle they buy.

The scheme, launching in the autumn, will allow buyers to check nearly all new cars, and most new vans, on a website where vehicles will be given a score based on their emissions.

The initiative is intended to restore public confidence in ratings after scandals involving major manufacturers.

Mr Khan was pushing the scheme as he met Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo as they discussed the need for tougher European standards.

He said: "My scheme will put an end to the smoke and mirrors that have been employed in official emissions tests.

"It will provide Londoners with an honest, accurate and independent evaluation of the emissions of most new cars and vans on our roads and on the showroom forecourt.

"By having 'on the road' testing, I believe we will help Londoners make an informed choice and incentivise manufacturers to build cleaner vehicles sooner.

"This scheme is also a fantastic example of how big cities around the world can pool their expertise and their influence to encourage big industry to clean up its act.

"The toxicity of the air in London and many other big cities is an outrage, and schemes of the type we are introducing in London and Paris have the potential to make a massive difference to the quality of the air we all breathe."

Ms Hidalgo said: "For too long, some vehicle manufacturers have been able to hide behind inconsistent regulation and consumer uncertainty about the damage their cars are causing.

"This announcement is a wake-up call to car companies that they need to act now. Citizens of Paris and cities around the world demand clean air to breathe and this new scoring scheme will be key to helping achieve that."

Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner Oliver Hayes said: "Since the dieselgate scandal, many drivers feel rightly let down by manufacturers and unable to trust their claims about toxic emissions.

"So decisions about what to drive next will be massively improved by a simple, independent scoring system like the one announced today by mayors Khan and Hidalgo."