What is WLTP all about?
The “Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure” or WLTP is a new protocol to measure vehicles’ fuel consumption, CO2 and pollutant emissions. The procedure was developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to replace the current “New European Driving Cycle” (NEDC), which has been in use since the 1990s.
One of the main objectives of the WLTP procedure is to better align the laboratory test results with realistic vehicle usage, based on current engine technologies. Given the importance of CO2 targets for the economic performance of vehicle manufacturers worldwide, WLTP also aims to harmonise test procedures on a global level, in order to create an equal playing field in the market.
The CO2 measurements resulting from the WLTP tests will be included in the vehicle’s Certificate of Conformity and will be used to audit manufacturers’ compliance with the CO2targets set by the European Union. In many countries, the new CO2 test results will also be considered for the taxation of car registration and ownership.
In addition to WLTP, the EU Commission will enforce Real Driving Emissions (RDE) as a supplementary type approval requirement for the EU6d Emission Regulation. Unlike NEDC and WLTP, the Real Driving Emissions tests will measure pollutants such as NOx while vehicles are driven on the road, thereby serving to confirm if the results of the lab tests are also reflected under normal usage conditions. RDE testing will be performed on a representative set of vehicle models.
Until 2020, both the NEDC and WLTP standards will be maintained, whereas NEDC will remain the legally binding norm for CO2 target monitoring of manufacturers. The European Union will therefore need to review the CO2 targets for 2020-2021 based on WLTP emission results.
Which countries will adopt WLTP?
The WLTP procedure will be implemented by all UNECE members (EU-28, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland/Liechtenstein, Turkey and Israel) according to the above timeline.
Other countries that signed the WLTP agreement, such as China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, India and the USA, are currently in a monitoring position and have not yet communicated any implementation timeline.
Which changes can be expected?
|Number of test cycles||1||Up to 4|
|Cycle time||20 minutes||30 minutes|
|Cycle distance||11 km||23,25 km|
|Average speed||34 km/h||46,5 km/h|
|Highest speed||120 km/h||131 km/h|
|Impact of options||No||Yes|
|Test temperature||Between 20-30°C||Fixed at 23°C|
As optional equipment may have an impact on the weight and aerodynamics of a vehicle, the WLTP test will reflect better the expected emissions levels of individually built vehicles.
The WLTP tests are lab-based, in order to ensure the comparability of test conditions for all vehicles, such as wind, temperature, traffic density, condition of the road. Results therefore represent average usage conditions, and individual driving behaviour may still differ strongly.
How will WLTP affect my business?
Under the WLTP procedure, average CO2 values are expected to rise. As a consequence, companies that have included a CO2 limit in their car policy will need to analyse, reconsider and maybe also adjust it. The changed fuel consumption and CO2 values often have a direct impact on the vehicle selection of employees. Many models could (will) fall out then of the selection, if the car policy stays the same. At present, we expect a general increase in WLTP CO2 levels of up to 25 percent (for cars from every manufacturer). So it will get very important to analyse the exact impact of the new CO2 values on the vehicle list. This will be possible once the manufacturers make the official data available.
While the WLTP procedure has been adopted on international level, vehicle taxation is still a country-specific matter. Therefore, governments are expected to adjust local legislation in order to clarify any uncertainty regarding the impact on vehicle-related taxation. To this date, no detailed information from the countries is available. But it is assumed that the taxation for the vehicles will rise, especially in countries that tax according to CO2 values (environmental tax, road tax, etc.).
How can Alphabet support my business?
As a leading provider of business mobility, Alphabet will ensure that its customers are properly informed regarding the impact of WLTP.
Therefore, we will continue to provide you with information regarding changes in local legislation and taxation. We are also engaging with all stakeholders in the automotive supply chain to investigate how NEDC and WLTP values can be integrated into the business processes, respecting all local and international (legal) requirements. And of course, your dedicated Account Manager will be happy to support you with reviewing your current Car Policy.
WLTP is a legally binding certification requirement and applies equally to all manufacturers.
WLTP will be introduced in the EU-28 countries as well as in Norway, Iceland, Switzerland (and Liechtenstein) and the EU user states Turkey and Israel.
In principle, the change to WLTP does not change the way vehicles are already approved. In the first step of the introduction from September 1st 2017, WLTP is initially relevant for new type approvals. The manufacturers must apply to the relevant competent authorities if they want to place a new vehicle on the market or if a model is subject to significant technical modifications. From September 1st 2018, the WLTP guidelines are then mandatory for all new registrations.
In many countries, car taxation is partly measured by the CO2 emissions of a vehicle. However, the extent to which the new test procedure affects this regulation has not yet been clarified to date (as of September 2017) and is still regulated by national law.
Optional extras can alter the weight or the aerodynamics of the vehicle and thus also affect fuel consumption and emissions. In the selection of special equipment during the configuration of a vehicle, it will therefore be recognisable in the future, how the CO2 value of the vehicle changes.
In reality, the consumption and CO2 emissions of a vehicle are dependent on a number of factors, which can not be reconstructed in the laboratory with WLTP 1: 1. A key factor here are the different driving styles. This means that if two drivers drive the exact same vehicle under the exact same conditions in real road traffic, different values will necessarily result, for example, by individual acceleration and braking behavior.