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The "Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure" (WLTP)

More does not necessarily mean more

The more realistic WLTP cycle will result in official fuel consumption and emissions data for internal combustion engines vehicles (ICEV), which are higher than those measured by the previous NEDC procedure.

Thereby the study “From NEDC to WLTP: effect on the type-approval CO2 emissions of light-duty vehicles” of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission’s science and knowledge service draws the following conclusion:

“Considering the certification values for CO2 emissions, results for ICEV passenger cars show an average WLTP to NEDC CO2 ratio of 1.21 (sales weighted average across the fleet).”*

For a vehicle with 120g CO2 emissions under NEDC this would result in a WLTP value of approximately 150g. For the transition phase, in which WLTP homologated vehicles are calculated back to NEDC values (named “NEDC.correlated), a lower increase of CO2 values can be expected as well.

Depending on a country’s jurisdiction, this may also impact CO2 related taxes and therefore directly affect the total cost of ownership.

As most car policies account for the CO2 emissions in one way or another, a close evaluation of the current schemes is a reasonable starting point for dealing with the new test procedure. We advise you to increase the CO2 limitation with 15% till 25% to be able to keep some cars in the selection. In certain cases, it may be necessary to adjust the CO2 values by up to 25 percent in order to leave certain vehicles in the fleet selection. Petrol cars keep gaining popularity. These cars have a higher CO2 emission than diesel cars. The change in the CO2 limitation is also essential to keep gasoline cars in the selection.

However, while suggesting higher fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures, this new test procedure has no impact on real-world fuel consumption and emissions of the vehicles tested in this way. Real-world fuel consumption will continue to be largely influenced by personal driving style, traffic flow, road surface, topography, weather conditions and vehicle weight dependent on optional equipment.

*JRC SCIENCE FOR POLICY REPORT: From NEDC to WLTP: effect on the type- approval CO2 emissions of light-duty vehicles: page 2

On your marks for WLTP

The official start date for WLTP was on 1 September 2017. But for the time being, it only applies to new type approvals since 1 September 2017 i.e. predominantly for brand-new models or new engines. 

In the next stage, 1 September 2018 will be the date when all automobile manufacturers producing vehicles for the EU, as well as Switzerland and Turkey, will be required to produce only vehicles tested according to the WLTP cycle.

The actual date for the communication of the WLTP values in the various markets depends on country-specific legislation. 

However, from 1 January 2021 at the latest, all countries will have changed over to WLTP values. An overview of the most important markets with their respective WLTP legislation change-over dates can be found here. In addition to the fact that the dates of the new legislation have already been communicated, it still remains to be seen if – and to what extent – WLTP will affect the legislative changes.

Overview of international starting dates of WLTP based legislation/taxation

More information on WLTP and Real Driving Emissions (RDE)

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