Monitoring actual emissions: report summary

Thema:
Sustainable traffic and transport

Measurements show that there is a gap between the European standards for motor vehicle emissions and the actual emissions on the road. For years, we have been measuring under real conditions the emission of harmful substances such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulates, and CO2 from passenger cars, vans and lorries, ships, and trains.

We fed the results into our models to predict air quality. This allows us to help governments, private parties, and users to make evidence-based decisions on improving air quality.

Accurately measuring emissions in practice

The measurements under real conditions are mainly done with the Portable Emission Measurement System (PEMS) and with the smart variant SEMS developed by TNO. This enables us to monitor emissions and driving behaviour on a daily basis. This data provides us with accurate, real-time data on emissions under all conceivable situations over an extended period of time.

The data is needed to understand under what conditions harmful emissions and CO2 emissions are high or low. With this knowledge, we can advise governments on how to improve air quality through source-based policy. For example, European emissions legislation, national incentive schemes, local environmental zones, and traffic measures. NGOs and environmental organisations also use our measurement data.

Advising consumers and manufacturers

We monitor large numbers of vehicles with relatively simple measuring devices such as SEMS. Owners of fleets of vehicles, both government agencies and companies (including lease companies), and private citizens can have our measuring equipment installed in their cars. This allows us to collect large quantities of measurement data on all types of passenger cars and delivery vans under various conditions. This means a great enrichment of our database and our calculation models with which we make emission forecasts and calculate future scenarios.

In the future, we will be able to tell individual consumers exactly which cars are actually clean and economical under normal use, and what driving behaviour contributes to this. We will be able to help vehicle manufacturers optimise the adjustment of the emission reduction system.

View our publications and reports

Road traffic emission factors

Emission measurements for two-wheelers

Practical use of passenger cars

Emission measurements for lorries and buses

Particulate matter emissions from diesel vehicles

Download the 2022 report

Read more in the report 'Approaches for detecting high NOx emissions of aged petrol cars during the periodic technical inspection'.

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TNO’s hydrogen internal heavy duty combustion engine wins prize at EARTO Innovation Awards

Informatietype:
News
12 October 2022

Today TNO won second prize in the category ‘Impact Expected‘ at the 13th EARTO Innovation Awards for an innovative hydrogen combustion engine for the maritime sector. The innovation involves converting existing, heavy (diesel) engines in cargo ships to a clean, hydrogen combustion engine. The impact: almost 100% CO₂ reduction with short implementation times and costs! Due to our retrofit concept, existing engines can be retrofitted with the technology and have immediate impact without having to wait for the end-of life of the existing engines. The prize was awarded at a special ceremony in Brussels with wide political and stakeholder participation.

TNO Prepares to Build Breakthrough Emissions Monitor

Informatietype:
News
24 February 2022
TNO and partners have developed the HIGS instrument to accurately monitor atmospheric gases for precise measurement of greenhouse gases and emitters.

ORCA: Optimised Real-world Cost-Competitive Modular Hybrid Architecture for Heavy Duty Vehicles

Informatietype:
News
13 October 2021
As part of its commitment to significantly reduce tailpipe CO2 emissions, the European Commission is co-funding a number of projects that it believes can make a major contribution to achieving that goal. ORCA is one such project.

Safer European roads thanks to breakthrough in truck platooning

Informatietype:
News
4 October 2021
In truck platooning, trucks are linked with automated driving support systems to drive directly behind each other in small convoys. This improves traffic flow, increases road safety, saves fuel and reduces CO2 emissions. The EU co-funded ENSEMBLE project takes truck platooning to the next level. The international partners have successfully deployed multi-brand truck platooning, which will further increase safety on European roads.

Effective communication based on cultural differences in Africa

Informatietype:
News
1 July 2021
TNO defined a communication strategy for Southern African countries to promote circular waste projects, taking intercultural differences into account. Recognizing the wide palette of traditions, tribes and languages.