About AIR

Our Vision

Improving air quality in our towns and cities through better vehicle choices.

If we all used the cleanest, lowest emission vehicles available today, air quality would improve immediately. But we’re confused by conflicting stories about the problems caused by diesel and petrol engines, we’re uncertain about the balance between global warming and local air quality and we don’t trust the information from car makers following the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal. Without reliable and independent information we fear making decisions, or make poorly informed choices causing the air quality in our towns and cities to deteriorate. We need to work together to achieve the right solution to reduce the negative impacts of vehicle emissions.

AIR was created to cut through the politics, the controversy and the commercial conflict to deliver trusted information based on the collective scientific experience and knowledge of the world’s leading experts in air quality and healthcare. We have developed and launched the AIR Index to provide clear and transparent emissions information when choosing a car, rating cars from A (the best) to E (the worst) using the latest technology in multiple tests. AIR is enabling prompt and cost-effective approaches to emissions that can immediately address the diesel NOx emissions crisis, in an accessible, transparent and accountable way. AIR is a global initiative that provides a comprehensive and immediate response to reduce air pollution.

Independent testing

 Our solution is to test at least two different cars of each model, sold and on the road, sourced independently from the car makers in a scientifically robust programme of on-road trips which leads to an emissions rating in the AIR Index. The difference between the AIR Index and other standards such as Euro 6 and WLTP is that the car makers cannot develop a car’s emissions system just to pass a test.

The rating of each car uses the latest test methodology CWA 17379 developed at European level to fairly compare the emissions performance of different vehicles using portable emissions monitoring systems (PEMS) to ensure that the technology provides trusted data on emissions that is transparent and available to everyone. Car buyers can now make the right choices in the vehicles they buy, whether new or used, policy makers can develop robust, fair and effective policies to improve air quality and car makers have the opportunity to regain consumer trust by competing to deliver cleaner cars with independent verification of the emissions.

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The Scientific Advisory Committee

Trusted, Independent Scrutiny

The development of the AIR Index has been led by the world’s leading academics in the fields of emissions and air quality and they make up AIR’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). They have reviewed, and support, the rating system based upon the latest European CEN methodology CWA17379 which is sufficiently robust for car makers and policy makers to take immediate action to solve the NOx crisis.

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The Air Alliance

The AIR alliance

The coalition improving air quality now
AIR is a global not-for-profit organisation which empowers car buyers and policy makers with the ability to reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality by providing an independent, trusted, on-road vehicle emissions ratings for cars – the AIR Index.

AIR was formed in 2017 by Nick Molden, founder of Emissions Analytics and Massimo Fedeli of Fair Play Consulting and is an alliance of scientists, health regulatory experts, people and organisations committed to addressing NOx emissions from vehicles. Members and supporters of AIR enable the organisation to provide information which is: COMPARABLE: Based on the most thorough assessment of on-road driving conditions enabling genuine comparability between vehicle models, makes and manufacturers, both new and old. ACCESSIBLE: Data is publicly available, transparent and free of charge. STANDARDISED: Based on the European CEN methodology to deliver a data set across all markets and regions providing a truly global rating system. INDEPENDENT: The most comprehensive, independently endorsed, data available in the market place. IMMEDIATE: Available now.

Our Inspiration – Tried And Tested

AIR’s inspiration is NCAP – the New Car Assessment Programme – an independent vehicle-safety rating system developed in the US in the 1970s. It became the industry standard for vehicle safety in the EU and around the world.

The programme held automakers accountable for their safety performance, resulting in a voluntary adoption of technologies that led to safer vehicles as a means to differentiate their models in the market place to remain competitive. In time, this process incentivised car manufacturers to develop ever more innovative solutions to increase safety standards as a means to differentiate their models in the market place. NCAP is to safety what the AIR Index can be to emissions. AIR uses this framework as an inspiration. This tried and trusted method can be used now to reduce the harmful impact of vehicle emissions. There is no association between AIR, AIR Index and NCAP or any of its members.