As well as fewer tests, making the inspection fit for purpose should also mean more thorough testing of plug-in cars, both hybrid and fully electric, according to the Department for Transport. Currently hybrids are not tested at all for emissions while neither are there tests to assess the safety of battery systems. A revamped MoT would also prepare the ground for the testing of self-driving vehicles in the future, it is suggested.
The DfT admits it doesn’t yet know how electrified vehicles’ complex emissions, autonomous and safety systems can be effectively tested by your local MoT station. The tech in today’s cars is all a far cry from the lights, brakes and tyres roadworthiness check that has been the focus of the MoT test for more than 50 years.
Diesels do not escape mention in the wide-ranging consultation document. The Government proposes that more effective testing of diesel particulate emissions in the future – at present an MoT station makes only a visual check of the diesel particulate filter – would go some way to alleviating the risk of increased emissions owing to longer gaps between servicing.
The Government also admits there would be a risk of more accidents owing to less well maintained cars, but insists the safety implications of a first MoT test at four rather than three years would be “very limited”.