Exclusive: On-the-road fuel efficiency is far lower than in lab tests, pushing up costs and CO2 emissions, research shows

Drivers in Europe have paid €150bn more on fuel than they would have if their vehicles had performed as well on-the-road as in official laboratory-based tests, according to a new report.

Car companies have legally gamed official tests of fuel economy for many years by, for example, using very hard tyres during tests or taking out equipment to make cars lighter. The gap between test and actual performance has soared from 9% in 2000 to 42% today.

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