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Information on the new regulations regarding how CO2 & fuel consumption is worked out

May08/ 2018

It is important that you read and understand this note, because in some cases the new testing may result in an increase to the CO2 figures for vehicles, compared to the figures currently available under the NEDC test. If the official CO2 figure increases, the rate of the annual Vehicle Excise Duty which applies to vehicles may also increase as a result. Where a vehicle is being supplied to a company car driver, their Benefit in Kind tax rate may also be affected.

 

Under conditions defined by EU law, the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) laboratory test is used to measure fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from passenger cars, as well as their pollutant emissions.

The old lab test – called the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) – was designed in the 1980s. Due to evolutions in technology and driving conditions, it became outdated. The European Union has therefore developed a new test, called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The EU automobile industry welcomes the shift to WLTP and has actively contributed to the development of this new test cycle.

While the old NEDC test determined test values based on a theoretical driving profile, the WLTP cycle was developed using real-driving data, gathered from around the world. WLTP therefore better represents everyday driving profiles.

The WLTP driving cycle is divided into four parts with different average speeds: low, medium, high and extra high. Each part contains a variety of driving phases, stops, acceleration and braking phases. For a certain car type, each powertrain configuration is tested with WLTP for the car’s lightest (most economical) and heaviest (least economical) version.

WLTP was developed with the aim of being used as a global test cycle across different world regions, so pollutant and CO2 emissions as well as fuel consumption values would be comparable worldwide. However, while the WLTP has a common global ‘core’, the European Union and other regions will apply the test in different ways depending on their road traffic laws and needs.

WLTP will introduce much more realistic testing conditions. These include:

  • More realistic driving behaviour;
  • A greater range of driving situations (urban, suburban, main road, motorway);
  • Longer test distances;
  • More realistic ambient temperatures, closer to the European average;
  • Higher average and maximum speeds;
  • Higher average and maximum drive power;
  • More dynamic and representative accelerations and decelerations;
  • Shorter stops;
  • Optional equipment: CO2 values and fuel consumption are provided for individual vehicles as built;
  • Stricter car set-up and measurement conditions;
  • Enables best and worst-case values on consumer information, reflecting the options available for similar car models.

Because of all these improvements, WLTP will provide a much more accurate basis for calculating a car’s fuel consumption and emissions.
This will ensure that lab measurements better reflect the on-road performance of a car.

Please be aware that if your vehicle is tested under WLTP it is also possible that the lead time for some models may be extended.

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