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NAAMSA ANNOUNCES NEW VEHICLE COMPARATIVE FUEL ECONOMY LABELLING SYSTEM TO PROMOTE FUEL EFFICIENCY AWARENESS AMONGST NEW CAR BUYERS
With effect from 1st July, 2008 - the South African Automotive Industry in conjunction with the Department of Minerals and Energy is introducing a standardised fuel economy and CO2 emission testing and labelling system for application to new passenger cars at Dealerships. The new system which is based on that used in Europe, allows comparison of different models when tested under the same speed, acceleration and braking cycles while carrying the same load and using the same fuel.
While new passenger car, SUV and MPV buyers are able to access information regarding a particular vehicle's power and performance, comparison of fuel economy remains difficult due to the range of figures and sources quoted. The new system will allow more ready comparison of different vehicles and promote fuel efficiency awareness at a time when fuel prices and environmental considerations make such factors paramount when choosing a new car.
In terms of the new requirement standardised 'Official' fuel economy and carbon dioxide emission figures must be displayed in the windscreen area of the vehicle at point of sale
The fuel economy measurements are made with the vehicle mounted on a rolling road dynamometer in a chamber under controlled atmospheric conditions. The fuel economy is measured as the vehicle is driven through a standard cycle of set accelerations and stops. This 'Combined Cycle' consists of a 'Urban Cycle' with vehicle stops, idling and starts reaching a maximum speed of 50 kph and an 'Extra Urban' Cycle' in which a speed of 120 kph is briefly reached. Vehicle load is set at 100kg while a rolling resistance is applied via the dynamometer rollers determined by a previously taken measurement of the vehicles rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag. A standard 95 RON unleaded petrol or low sulphur diesel fuel is used as appropriate. The detailed procedure for conducting the test is the subject of a South African National Standard (SANS 20101: 2006).
While closely linked to fuel economy, carbon dioxide emissions are also recorded over the 'Combined Cycle' and displayed on the vehicle label at point of sale. Carbon dioxide is the main 'green house' gas responsible for global warming. Approximately 16% of world carbon dioxide emissions are produced by road transport, which includes cars, trucks and buses.
This initiative forms part of the Automobile Industry's commitment to the Department of Minerals Energy's Energy Efficiency Accord established to promote energy efficiency throughout South Africa.
While the purpose of the initiative is to promote fuel efficiency awareness amongst new passenger vehicle buyers the establishment of a standardised fuel economy test will also allow ongoing improvements in vehicle fuel economy to be tracked. 'While we are fully aware that new car fuel economy and CO2 emissions has improved dramatically during the past ten years, it has not been possible to accurately quantify this in South Africa due to the lack of a standardised fuel economy test' – advises Mr Stuart Rayner, Chairman of the NAAMSA Fuels & Emissions Working Group.
A database will be available from July, 2008 on NAAMSA’s website www.naamsa.co.za
and will list all NAAMSA members' passenger cars currently on sale with their
respective fuel economy/CO2 figures.
Questions and answers
Q. Is this linked to the fitment of Catalytic Converter to new vehicles? A. No. The Catalytic Converter controls toxic pollutants such as hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and carbon monoxide. Improved fuel efficiency reduces vehicle carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions which is a non toxic gas - breathed out by humans and animals - but is a major contributor to man made atmospheric warming.
Q. Why are Commercial vehicles not covered? A. Commercial vehicles are not included as part of the requirement at present as the varying weight conditions under which they operate makes the standardised unladen test less meaningful. Figures will generally be available from manufacturers on request.
Q Are Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) and Multi Purpose Vehicles (MPV) covered. A. Yes. Passenger carrying vehicles with capacity for up to nine persons including the driver are included.
Q. Are these figures typical of what a motorist will achieve under normal driving? A Not necessarily. The intention of the figures is to allow comparison between vehicles. Fuel economy varies enormously depending on many factors.
Q. Should the new car buyer now ignore figures quoted in motoring magazine road tests? A No. Road tests can give a view of actual fuel economy under a wider set of operating conditions.
Q. What other factors influence fuel economy? A. Unnecessary vehicle load, high speed, roof racks, under inflated tyres, air conditioning, poor maintenance all contribute to reduced fuel economy. A careful, anticipatory driving style, changing up gears early, is important in achieving good fuel economy and low emissions.
Q. Is the car air conditioning used during the test? A. No. The air conditioning system is turned off. The aerodynamic load applied during the test is determined with windows closed.
Q. What driving distance is the test equivalent to? A. Approximately 11 km, of which the extra urban cycle makes up 7 km.
Q. Must the label remain fitted to the vehicle? A. No. The label requirement only applies at the point of sale. It is not intended or designed to remain on the vehicle once in use.
Q. How is the accuracy of the data verified? A. The figures are derived from the results of the vehicle emission test which forms part of the compulsory standards for new vehicles as legislated by the Department of Trade and Industry under the Standards Act.
Q. I notice one manufacturer is stating the same results for the manual transmission version and the automatic transmission version. Can this be correct? A. Yes. The system allows the manufacturer to have a common label, however in doing so the worst case fuel economy figure must be used. It is not anticipated that volume manufacturers will use this provision due to marketing forces, however low volume sports car manufacturers might.
Q. Is this data available for older vehicles? A. No, however depending on demand the NAAMSA web site will retain the figures for vehicles once out of production; hence with time information will gradually become available.
Q. The fuel economy and CO2 data is conducted at sea level. Noting much of the vehicle population is at a high altitude what is the effect on fuel economy and do the comparative figures remain valid? A. Studies conducted showed that the fuel economy improved compared to the sea level condition as the aerodynamic load was reduced due to the 'thinner' atmosphere, all other speed and load factors remaining the same. Tests also showed that a more efficient vehicle tested at the coast remained so at higher altitudes.
NAAMSA OFFICES: PRETORIA
24TH JUNE, 2008
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION / INQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT –
MR STUART RAYNER, CHAIRMAN, NAAMSA FUELS AND EMISSIONS COMMITTEE – TEL.: 012 842 2438
NAAMSA OFFICES – TEL.: 012 323 2980
1) COMBINED DRIVE CYCLE (PART 1 'URBAN' PLUS PART 2 'EXTRA URBAN' )
2) Typical Fuel Economy/CO2 Label