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Green NCAP admits tests ‘flatter’ all-electric vehicles and next year it will look at total life-cycle

  • Green NCAP awards five-star rating to Nissan Leaf e+ and Lexus UX 300e
  • However, new manager says testing will look at entire life-cycle from next year to better reflect emissions
  • Lexus UX is found to have much lower range than claimed

Time 2 days ago

The Nissan Leaf e+ and Lexus UX 300e have received the top five-star score in the latest round of testing from Green NCAP – however, the agency admitted testing is flawed and ‘flatters’ all electric vehicles.

New scores for five more vehicles were announced this week and, while the all electric vehicles got top marks, the hybrid VW Golf GTE and Renault Captur E-tech 180 Plug-in scored only 3.5 stars.

Finally, the diesel Audi A3 Sportback 35 scored three starts, with Green NCAP saying it scored well for clean air and energy efficiency but was ‘let down by mediocre performance in reducing greenhouse gasses’.

In a statement about the tests, it said that while the Nissan and Lexus scored five-stars they had a head-start as all-electric vehicles.

The Lexus UX 300e also lost a fraction of a point for the energy used to head the interior of the vehicle on a cold ambient test and its driving range was found to be considerably lower than claimed.

Green NCAP revealed that in 2022 it will be improving its tests to cover ‘well-to-wheel’ and looking at the emissions from the car’s build to getting on the road.

Alex Damyanov, incoming technical manager for Green NCAP said: ‘Looking only at tailpipe emissions flatters all-electric vehicles by ignoring the energy consumed in producing the electricity they use.

‘We know that, and we are working to refine our rating scheme to reflect that fact.

‘Next year, we plan to also provide consumers with a total life-cycle analysis (LCA) which will allow them to see for themselves which car offers the cleanest mode of transport, depending on the use they make of the car, where their electricity comes from, where the vehicle is produced and how it is ultimately salvaged.’

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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