Air Quality Awards: Air Quality Champion Nominee Nick Molden

Posted on: Thursday, October 4, 2018 by Katy Blake

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Later today, we’ll be at the Air Quality Awards in London to unveil the winner of our “Air Quality Champion” award. Here’s another of our finalists, Nick Molden.

Nick Molden has become a prominent air quality expert and independent witness in the UK, Europe, the US and South Korea, on account of his dedication to improving air quality and his reputation for integrity.

In 2011 he established Emissions Analytics, the Stokenchurch, UK-based emissions testing company, with a view to solving the yawning discrepancy between real and stated fuel efficiency for passenger cars and light commercials. Early data suggested that there was a wider problem that related to air quality. This meant that when Dieselgate broke in September 2015, Molden had not only amassed the world’s largest database of real-world emissions data, the EQUA Index, but had already worked with US-based organisations seeking transparency around the cause of the scandal, i.e. certain highly emitting cars.

Since then Molden has become a regular contributor to TV and radio debates around air quality in the UK and elsewhere, while rapidly building his EQUA Index inventory of real-world emissions data and making it free to the car-buying public. Nick is the chairman of the CEN Workshop 90, and gave evidence to the UK Transport Select Committee and the European Parliament’s Dieselgate enquiry.

Nick Molden and his team at Emissions Analytics have shown conclusively that the NEDC-sanctioned test results, even Euro 6, require the utmost discrimination by regulatory bodies, if they are to achieve real improvements in air quality. In other words, a handful of Euro 5 diesel cars are shown to be cleaner than Euro 6 counterparts, while many cars tested and approved to Euro 6 standards badly miss their emissions targets in real-world testing. The real-world discrepancy is such that Nick has estimated that just 14% of cars pass the Euro 6 standard, when subjected to a real-world driving emissions test, a fact that should inform policymaking with respect to future low and zero-emission zones in cities in the UK and beyond.

More recently Nick has spearheaded new testing into ultra-fine particulates and in-cabin pollution, and RDE compliancy, successfully achieving large press coverage in Germany and the UK recently (July 2018) for an initial study into in-cabin pollution.

He is also the co-founder of Allow AIR (2017), which is a not-for-profit enterprise aiming to establish official recognition for the veracity of third-party emissions testing in real-world conditions.