New laboratory test (WLTP) and measurement of real driving emissions (RDE) from September 1, 2017
In order to determine how much fuel a car consumes, and whether it complies with the limit values for exhaust, the legislators have specified certain procedures valid throughout the EU, called test procedures. On September 1, 2017, the previous measuring procedure – the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) that has been in force since 1992 – will be replaced with a new test. From then on, the new laboratory test WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure) will apply for type approval of new passenger cars. As of September 2018, the WLTP will be binding for all new passenger car registrations in the EU.
The new test cycle comes at the right time because it is better at reflecting today’s models and traffic situations and also takes account of the customer’s individual vehicle with its particular features. The new driving profile and the more precise regulatory conditions mean that the WLTP produces more realistic information about consumption than the previous measuring procedure did.
The real driving emissions (RDE) procedure also comes into force on September 1, 2017, for new type-tested models of passenger cars. It will also measure pollutant emissions on the roads for the first time. The introduction of WLTP and RDE has been driven forward by policy-makers and the industry for several years.
Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), stated, “The reform of the exhaust and consumption measuring procedure is an important and good step. It specifies the legal framework in more detail. It gives customers greater clarity and reliability when they are deciding what to buy. Furthermore, the new requirements will result in another large step in making vehicles cleaner and speed up progress on improving air quality.”
WLTP will indeed reduce the differences between the results on the test bench and the values measured on the roads, but will not eliminate them altogether. This is because factors such as the use of air-conditioning systems, a radio and seat heaters, the individual route, driving style and the weather significantly influence fuel consumption. However, WLTP cannot take account of all these factors in full, because only a standardized measuring procedure ensures the reproducibility that enables comparisons to be made.
Full information about all the important issues surrounding the new test procedure is available on the VDA website, at: https://www.vda.de/wltp.