DD2169 Cleaner Vehicle Checker

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
05 October 2017
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

In March 2017, the Mayor announced a Cleaner Vehicle Checker scheme that will allow motorists to see how much NOx emissions new cars emit in “real-world” conditions, thereby allowing consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions.


MD2137 authorised expenditure of £122,000 on the project. This Director Decision provides additional detail about the partnership and resourcing agreement with Emissions Analytics and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) to deliver the Cleaner Vehicle Checker web tool and the accompanying Cleaner Fleet Checker service to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions.  In this context, it also asks the Director to approve the breakdown of expenditure.


That the Executive Director of Development, Enterprise & Environment approves:

the spend profile for Cleaner Vehicle Checker project, as outlined in 1.9 of the Introduction and background, noting this is in line with the approval given by MD2137 to spend up to £122,000 on the project;

the entry by the GLA into a memorandum of understanding, license agreement and service level agreement with Emissions Analytics; and

the proposed ways of working with the International Council on Clean Transportation on The Real Urban Emissions (TRUE) remote sensing project in London.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Currently, new vehicles sold in the EU and EEA member states must pass Euro 6 standards of acceptable limits for exhaust emissions. Unfortunately, the results produced from manufacturers’ laboratory tests don’t always accurately reflect the emissions produced in ‘real world’ driving conditions, particularly in dense urban environments such as London.

On 29 March 2017, the Mayor announced a new vehicle scheme, Cleaner Vehicle Checker, to show Londoners how much toxic NOx new cars emit under ‘real world’ driving conditions to help consumers make informed decisions when purchasing new vehicles, allowing them to take dangerous NOx emissions into account. This should also help to incentivise manufacturers to build cleaner vehicles sooner.

Using data supplied by Emissions Analytics via the EQUA Index (the database that holds technical details for a range of vehicles), the Cleaner Vehicle Checker will provide Londoners with accurate and independent evaluations of the emissions of most new cars and vans on our roads and on the showroom forecourt via real-world emissions testing methods.

An A-H rating system will be utilised to reflect each vehicle’s emissions performance, with A ratings given to those that meet the legal diesel limit for NOx emissions and H given to those that emit over 12x more NOx than current limit for diesel cars.

A ‘Cleaner Fleet Checker’ service will also be offered through the Cleaner Vehicle Checker whereby fleet operators can request general assessments of their fleets’ emissions performance and the individual cars and vans within it if they were to replace their existing vehicles with the current models of the same (i.e. Euro 6). This service will be undertaken by Emissions Analytics to allow fleet managers to prioritise the replacement of the most polluting vehicles and improve their fleets’ overall emissions performance.

Subject to the agreement of this decision, the GLA will enter into a memorandum of understanding, license agreement and service level agreement with Emissions Analytics.

The GLA has also been asked to be a partner in the TRUE (The Real Urban Emissions) project being led by the ICCT. This will involve a large roadside emissions testing programme, which will strengthen London’s emissions evidence base and help to strengthen the Cleaner Vehicle Checker by developing a rating system for used vehicles.

Subject to the agreement of this decision, the GLA will propose and agree ways of working with the International Council on Clean Transportation on The Real Urban Emissions (TRUE) remote sensing project in London and ways to incorporate the resulting data, along with existing data sourced by the TRUE project, into the GLA’s emissions inventory and enhance the functionality of the Cleaner Vehicle Checker.


MD2137 approved a budget spend of £122,000 in 2017/18 of which £13,000 has been allocated towards the development of the website functionality, £30,000 has been allocated to fund a Grade 6 post to support project delivery from July 2017 – March 2018, and £60,000 will be used to fund the marketing campaign. The remaining budget of £19,000 will be used to fund materials and expenses incurred during promotional and stakeholder engagement events or additional website functionalities and features.

The GLA Marketing team have been provided with a budget of £60,000 to part-fund the procurement of a creative agency to run a multi-channel “Clean air” campaign over the course of six months.  The campaign will include specific objectives related to the Cleaner Vehicle Checker, including targeted activity to promote awareness and use of the tool during its launch in October.


It is envisaged that the Cleaner Vehicle Checker will evolve as more robust and relevant data become available from our partners Emissions Analytics and ICCT. The Cleaner Vehicle Checker may be able to display other emissions ratings in the future (e.g. Carbon Dioxide), and/or incorporate emissions data for older vehicles through ICCT’s ‘TRUE’ dataset and future road-side testing work in London. Both datasets are expected to be provided to the GLA on a fee-free basis.

Objectives and expected outcomes


To support the Mayor’s commitment to improve London’s air quality and to reduce transport emissions;

Empower Londoners to take action to reduce their exposure to harmful air pollution and realise the benefits of utilising low or zero-emission vehicles;

Inform Londoners about the health impacts from car emissions, including the harmful effects of NOx and why action must be taken to limit the amount of exposure to it;

Identify best and worst performing vehicles to create competition amongst car manufacturers to create cleaner cars sooner.
2.2       Outcomes

Londoners take the Cleaner Vehicle Checker into account when making purchasing decisions (monitored by web hits and survey);

Fleet operators participate in the Cleaner Fleet Checker service and take action to reduce emissions;

The Cleaner Vehicle Checker is embedded in local authority and other fleet procurement decisions;

Manufacturers are incentivised to invest resources into ensuring that their vehicles meet public and industry expectations for emissions standards.

Equality comments

The information and service provided by the Cleaner Vehicle Checker will help deliver improvements in air pollution that will have benefits for all Londoners, including those most vulnerable to poor air quality. Studies show air pollution is not spread evenly across demographic groups. Exposure and associated health risks appear to fall disproportionately on poor and non-white people. Data supports the contention that, disadvantaged groups, many of whom are from racial and financially disadvantaged backgrounds, routinely encounter levels of air pollution that are higher than average.


3.2       In terms of ethnicity, there is a normal distribution of exposure for ‘white’ people, the pattern shows increasing exposure in areas that have higher percentage of non-white ethnic groups, with a particularly skewed distribution for the Black/African/Caribbean/Black British population. A greater proportion of mixed, black and other ethnic groups are exposed to levels of pollution that exceed the NO2 limit value than their proportion of the total population.


3.3       No special gender, religion or sex orientation equality issue is expected to arise. If any issue will arise, it will be promptly resolved at as a part of the daily project management.

Other considerations
  1. Key risks and issues


Risk Category

Level of Risk (Low, Medium, High)

Steps taken to mitigate probability and impact, both prior to risk occurring and if risk has occurred

Reputational – data provided by the Delivery Partner is inaccurate, thus damaging the credibility of the project.


Licence Agreements will ensure Delivery Partners take full responsibility in the accuracy of data provided and relevant Service Level Agreements will be put in place to ensure the GLA is notified as soon as errors are identified for any amendments to be promptly actioned.

Reputational – industry backlash at vehicles being publicly discredited on a public platform.


Emissions Analytics is a well-respected independent vehicle testing company, which has developed the EQUA Index database of ‘real world’ emissions based on urban driving environments for new cars sold in Europe.


The EQUA Index was publicly launched on April 2016 and is widely acknowledged by industry. Furthermore, the GLA and TfL have kept stakeholders, including vehicle manufacturers, up to date on the development of the tool.

Partner and stakeholder – different expectations from stakeholders on their involvement and the outcome of the project.



A memorandum of understanding and a service level of agreement will be signed between the GLA and Emissions Analytics. A letter will be sent to the ICCT outlining the GLA’s anticipated role in the TRUE project (to act as an MOU). The GLA will also work with C40 cities network, who are representing cities on the TRUE Steering Group.

Health, Safety and Wellbeing risk as a result of remote sensing work commissioned by ICCT.


Contractor’s equipment to carry out road side emissions testing, e.g. scaffolding, may pose safety risk to public using the paths and roads on which they are set-up.


The GLA and TfL will work with ICCT’s contractors to ensure that all appropriate permits/permissions are acquired and that health and safety regulations are met.


The GLA and TfL will review ICCT’s contract with the third party contractor to ensure that all parties involved in the project are fully insured and that any required liability and indemnity agreements in relation to the GLA are in place prior to the work commencing.



Missed deadlines for return of Cleaner Fleet Check results/reports to operators requesting the service.


Emissions Analytics and the GLA will agree a workable turnaround time for the Cleaner Fleet Check reports to be provided to fleet operators. This will be included in the details of the Service Level Agreement (SLA).


The method by which requests for this service are made will enable the GLA to monitor and enforce the turnaround time agreed within the SLA. The project manager will be notified when a request is submitted and Emissions Analytics will provide the GLA with copies of the reports.


In the event Emissions Analytics is unable to meet the agreed turnaround time (e.g. insufficient fleet data was provided by an operator) the GLA will be notified and asked to liaise with the requester to progress the service in a timely manner.



Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities
The Mayor is clear that ambitious and decisive action is needed to clean up the air in London.
Mayor’s Transport Strategy (draft 2017)
Policy 5
The Mayor, through TfL and working with the boroughs, will take action to reduce emissions – in particular diesel emissions – from vehicles on London’s streets, to improve air quality and support London reaching compliance with UK and EU legal limits as soon as possible.

            London Environment Strategy (draft 2017)


            Policy 4.2.1

Reduce emissions from London’s road transport network by phasing out fossil fuelled vehicles, prioritising action on diesel, and enabling Londoners to switch to more sustainable forms of transport.


Proposal 4.2.1d

The Mayor aims to reduce emissions from private and commercial vehicles by phasing out and restricting the use of fossil fuels, prioritising action on diesel.


Financial comments

5.1 Executive Director’s approval is being sought to approve the partnership and resourcing agreement with Emissions Analytics and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) to deliver the Cleaner Vehicle Checker web tool and accompanying Cleaner Fleet Checker service to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions

5.2 MD2137 approved a budget of £122,000 for 2017-18 for this project. The budget is proposed to be utilised as follows:





(grade 6 July 2017 to March 2018 including on costs)


Marketing campaign


Website development and functionality


Events and meetings or additional website development







Planned delivery approach and next steps




Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]


Announcement [if applicable]

March 2017

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

April 2017

Final evaluation start (self):

June 2020

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

June 2020

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

June 2020 (subject to further funding)


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