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WLTP - What is it & what does it mean?

WLTP - What is it and what does it mean?

WLTP or Worldwide Harmonised Light Duty Test Procedure to give it the full name that came into effect on 1st September 2019

What is it?

WLTP is the new European Union testing procedure for all new vehicles and has been introduced to replace the now outdated NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) which first came into effect in the 1980s. The new test will look at fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, pollutant emissions and energy consumption values of alternative powertrains (including electric vehicles). Unlike the NEDC test the WLTP test will be much longer based on real world driving conditions and designed to give more accurate figures for all the above.

How does it work?

The WLTP test is split into four parts and will look at all aspects of driving to include: More realistic driving behaviours. A greater range of driving situations to include, urban, suburban, main road and motorway – 30 mins.Longer test distances - 23-25 kilometres.More dynamic and representative accelerations and decelerations.Higher average and maximum speeds – average of 46.4 km/h and maximum of 131 km/hr.Shorter Stops. Higher Average and maximum drive power.More realistic ambient temperatures, closer to the European average – 23 Centigrade. There will also be stricter car set up and measurement conditions. It will also show the impact of options on a vehicle such as smaller/larger wheels, sunroofs etc and be able to show values for individual vehicles as built. Enables manufacturers to show best and worst case scenarios of emissions on a particular model of car based on extras which it may or may not have, and can reflect on options available for similar models. Hybrid and electric cars will be tested in a variety of situations going from full to empty batteries and should give better information on power consumption and vehicle range in the case of electric vehicles.

Why change?

The NEDC testing programme was introduced in 1980 to assess CO2 and mpg and was based on theoretical values at that time. Because of advances in technology and changing driving conditions, the test has now become outdated.

When did it come into effect?

The WLTP test has been in place for all new types of cars (new types of cars are vehicle models introduced to the market for the first time) since September 2017. However WLTP appllied to all new car registrations from 1st September 2018. In April 2020 changed the VED to base it on the WLTP figures completeing the transfer over to the new scheme.

What does it mean for the customer?

For the consumer it means that the published figures for mpg and CO2 will be more accurate and reflect the actual driving conditions.

The future?

Many manufacturers have announced they are moving away from producing diesel and petrol cars only. The WLTP programme may accelerate this programme ahead of the 2040 deadline for all cars to be either hybrid or electric due to the increase in CO2 figures.

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13th of July 2020