We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
A contract has just been signed for the delivery of two new state-of-the-art emission testing facilities at JRC Ispra. The new laboratories will carry out the compliance checks under the new European Type Approval framework.
The new European Type Approval framework tasks the Commission with a new role to monitor and check the compliance of vehicles with the type approval regulation and the new emissions limits – whether in the laboratory or on the road.
The JRC will carry out these checks on behalf of the Commission.
Apart from the emissions limits, the checks will also focus on some safety related issues, including brakes and the protection of passengers.
Piotr Szymanski, Director of the Energy, Transport and Climate Directorate, said "The signature of this contract provides a clear message that the JRC is committed to deliver on its new role.
It also reassures consumers that the emissions performance of new vehicles accurately reflects their expected performance under real world driving conditions."
The new facilities ("VELA 10" and "VELA 11") are scheduled to start testing cars in 2020.
The new building is expected to be ready in February 2019, when the installation of testing equipment can begin.
This is a substantial expansion to the activities of the JRC and its Sustainable Transport Unit, which is already recognised for its work in support to the new European emission legislation as well as research on electrical and hybrid cars.
The JRC's existing Vehicle Emissions Laboratories (VELA 1 – 9) include well-equipped chemical and physical analysis labs and nine major testing facilities capable of conducting emissions tests on a variety of vehicles.
In September 2020 new type-approval rules for safer and cleaner cars will enter into force.
The new rules will raise the quality level and independence of vehicle type-approval and testing, increase checks of cars that are already on the EU market and strengthen the overall system with European oversight.
Under this agreement, the Commission will carry out market checks independently from Member States.
This includes the possibility for the Commission to initiate EU-wide recalls and impose fines of up to €30,000 per non-compliant car.
The Regulation (EU) 2018/858 on the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles was published in June 2018.