What is the TRUE Initiative?


The TRUE initiative is a new partnership of expert groups seeking to clean up vehicles and improve urban air quality.

The TRUE initiative is open, transparent and innovative.

Open - we are committed to connecting with all relevant stakeholders, to releasing all of our results, and to sharing our objectives.

Transparent - secrecy has been at the heart of the problems with vehicle emission testing which we have seen to date, and as a result trust has been lost. We are entirely open about our partners, our funding sources and our methodology.

Innovative - we support all forms of testing, but particularly the more innovative remote sensing as it offers huge benefits in terms of the number of observations taken, and the real world setting in which measurements are taken.'


Why does the TRUE initiative exist?


The TRUE initiative exists because of the clear gap which exists between tested and on-road values for emissions from vehicles. This gap means that policymakers are unable to frame good policy, consumers are unable to make good choices, and as a result the quality of the air breathed by millions of city dwellers is deteriorating rapidly and creating a real health crisis.


What are the objectives of the TRUE initiative?


The TRUE will outline a detailed work plan very soon. It's broad objectives are to:

  • Publish research on real world vehicle emissions (LDV and HDV), technologies, policy solutions and other relevant matters.
  • Publish real world emissions data with the objective of raising awareness about the magnitude and scope of excess vehicle emissions.
  • Work with cities and other relevant authorities to support real world testing programs (remote sensing, PEMs tests) in order to support city efforts to inform consumers with transparent emissions data, and to support effective policy.
  • Raise funds to support this work.

Why do we need 'real world' vehicle tests?


The gap between the emissions values attached to vehicles when they are sold, and the emissions they emit when they are driven on real roads throughout their lifetimes is large and growing. In some cases this gap is a much as 40 times greater than the measured value - in others it is even more. This gap can have many causes, from deliberate cheating during the test phase, to poor vehicle maintenance. Whatever he cause, it is vital that the gap is addressed, and testing vehicles in real world settings provides the sorts of data which policymakers, consumers and manufacturers need, to address these shortcomings.

What was Dieselgate?


The ‘Dieselgate’ scandal which broke in 2015 provided concrete evidence of the gap between real world vehicle emissions and emissions produced under vehicle compliance tests for some VW vehicles in North America. This gap had been documented in other ways and at other times, but the deliberate cheat which was inherent in that scandal gave huge prominence to the issue.

Which emissions are being measured, and from which vehicles?


The TRUE initiative measures NOx emissions from cars in London, and from cars and other vehicles in Paris.

Who funds TRUE?


The TRUE initiative is running two remote sensing projects which are funded by FIA Foundation, C40 Cities, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Joshua and Anita Bekenstein Charitable Fund. The ICCT conducts data analysis and project management, while the FIA Foundation is responsible for communications and outreach.