Alongside other stakeholders, including some of the EU member states, the industry continues to contribute actively to the development of the new WLTP test-cycle and its new testing procedures.
CO2 emissions information from cars is currently derived using a test cycle known as the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test. The NEDC is a standardised procedure designed to compare different vehicles under similar conditions. As such, the test is necessarily performed under laboratory conditions according to legal requirements, which are different to real-life conditions. The purpose is to enable the customer to make reliable comparisons between vehicles in terms of their CO2 emissions and fuel economy. Manufacturers provide information about the emissions and fuel economy of their vehicles based on the legal requirements set out in EU law. The figures presented to the customer are verified by an independent authority, which is often a public authority, as part of EU type-approval.
The actual real-world fuel efficiency experienced by drivers varies widely as it depends on many external factors such as traffic conditions, terrain, driving behaviour, road type, vehicle load, vehicle condition, weather etc. In real-world conditions, even if two different drivers drive exactly the same vehicle under exactly the same conditions, each is likely to have a different consumption performance. Any difference between customers’ individual fuel consumption and NEDC figures is therefore the result of the difference between drivers’ behaviour in real-world conditions on the one hand, and laboratory tests prescribed by legal requirements on the other.
The automotive industry attaches a lot of importance to consumer information and therefore is actively contributing to the development of the new global test cycle - the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) - which is designed to represent more closely real-world driving and to be used as a global test cycle across different world regions. The automobile industry welcomes the replacement of the current NEDC by the WLTP as the basis for future regulatory fuel consumption and CO2 information. Indeed, alongside other stakeholders, including some of the EU member states, the industry continues to contribute actively to the development of the new WLTP test-cycle and its new testing procedures.
The new WLTP test procedure needs to be completed properly so that it can be a robust tool for comparing one vehicle against another, and so that it can be applicable for all future technologies that manufacturers continue to develop for helping to reduce CO2 and improve fuel consumption.