Specifically, 14 Peugeot models achieved fuel economy that was 44 percent less than published figures; 11 Citroen models got 39 percent less fuel economy; and three DS models achieved 40 percent less fuel efficiency. PSA Peugeot Citroen said earlier this year that it would perform such tests in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel-emissions scandal in order to be more transparent. PSA worked with advocacy groups France Nature Environment and Transport & Environment on the tests, and the data was audited by Bureau Veritas. The company had already gone on record saying that tested figures for the Peugeot 308 sedan, Citroen C4 Picasso, and the DS3 subcompact – diesels, all – were substantially lower than previously published figures.
Analysts have long said the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) figures were very charitable compared to real-world driving, so the lower-than-published figures are not a surprise.
In addition to VW, companies such as Hyundai-Kia and Ford have been popped for overstating the fuel economy on certain models, so this may have been an effort for PSA Peugeot Citroen to stay one step ahead of that process. Either way, the company says it is the first automaker to voluntarily run tests and publish results about real world vs. published fuel-economy figures. Take a look at PSA Peugeot Citroen's press release below.
The PSA Group is fulfilling its commitments to customers by publishing the results of real-world fuel consumption tests for 30 core models.
The results come from a test procedure established with two non-governmental organisations, Transport & Environment (T&E) and France Nature Environment (FNE), and have been audited by Bureau Veritas. Reliable and reproducible, the test procedure measures the real-world fuel consumption of PSA customers.
Based on the European Union's Real Driving Emissions (RDE) project, the procedure measures fuel consumption by means of a portable emissions measurement system (PEMS) installed on the vehicle. Bureau Veritas, an independent and internationally respected body, guarantees the procedure, ensuring that it is conducted in line with specifications and that the results are reliable.
The measurements were made on public roads open to traffic (25 km urban, 39 km rural and 31 km motorway) and under real-life driving conditions, notably with passenger and luggage loads, road gradients, and the use of air-conditioning systems. The measurements are comparable to those made by PSA customers (obtained from independent customer surveys). They show that the procedure designed with T&E and FNE is scientifically robust, reproducible and representative of a typical driver.
In November 2015, with collapsing consumer confidence in car testing, the PSA Group decided to take a unique approach by publishing real-world fuel consumption data for its cars in order to be transparent with customers. It undertook to do this with respected environmental organisations and certification partners. This initiative is a world first in the automotive industry.
By the end of 2016, the Peugeot, Citroën and DS brands will offer a simulator on their websites to enable customers to predict their vehicles' fuel consumption based on driving style and conditions (city/country/motorway mix, vehicle load, etc.). At the same time, an eco driving application will also be made available online to customers to help them manage their fuel consumption.
Commenting on the announcement, Gilles Le Borgne, Executive Vice President, Research & Development, said: "The PSA Group has today published real-world consumption data for 30 Peugeot, Citroën and DS models, in line with the commitment to transparency made in October 2015. As part of its drive to continuously provide customers with more information, the Group will publish figures for another 20 models by the end of the year and introduce a simulator allowing customers to reduce their fuel consumption depending on driving conditions, thereby lowering their CO2 emissions. In 2017, the PSA Group will move to the next level by extending measurements to pollutant emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in customer driving conditions."
Greg Archer, Clean Vehicles Director at Transport & Environment, said: "This real-word test provides more representative information to consumers than new laboratory tests, helping them to choose the most fuel-efficient, low-carbon models."