Mercedes C220d diesel scores same ‘clean air’ points as Nissan Leaf EV
Green NCAP, Euro NCAP’s sister programme aimed at promoting the newest greenest cars, has released their second set of results. Five new cars have been tested and rated on their Clean Air and Energy Efficiency performance.
The Mercedes-Benz C220d 4MATIC and the Renault Scenic dCi 150, both diesel cars, achieved three stars each. While diesel has been stigmatised in recent years, the C220d 4MATIC scored maximum points for the Clean Air Index, the same as electric vehicles.
The C220d and Scenic’s three-star rating were both defined by their performance in Energy Efficiency but proved that new diesel-engined cars, with proper calibration and effective after-treatment, can deliver extremely low pollutant emissions.
The Audi A4 Avant g-tron, not currently available in the UK, is the first compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle to be tested and also scored three stars. While the g-tron operates almost exclusively on CNG, it also has a small ‘emergency’ petrol reserve to get it to the nearest fuel station. Both modes were tested, with the score and star rating being based on the CNG results with penalties if performance on petrol was significantly worse.
The fifth-generation Vauxhall Corsa 1.0-litre petrol achieved four stars, with the model performing well in its control of pollutant emissions. The engine is due to be replaced with PSA derived units next year.
The second-generation Nissan Leaf, the only pure electric vehicle tested in this release, achieved a full five star rating. Green NCAP test criteria includes testing the vehicles ‘tank-to-wheel’ and does not take account for the energy involved in generating electricity or producing fuel.
On this basis, electric cars currently offer the cleanest, most efficient motoring. Green NCAP eventually hopes to be able to assess ‘well-to-wheel’ emissions and the whole life-cycle of vehicles to give an even more realistic view to consumers in future.