The new fuel consumption test – WLTP

The new fuel consumption test – WLTP

Posted by

Martin Brown

April 2018


I won’t go too hard on you. But WLTP.

Yes, more autospeak. However, you need to get used to it I’m afraid.

The reason for this is all good – it’s to give you a much clearer and more realistic view of what the fuel consumption may be of your chosen car.

After all, we know that stated fuel consumption on the combined cycle is always unattainable. So the new WLTP measurement aims to change that.

WLTP is the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure. It becomes compulsory for every new model car and van to display WLTP data from September this year. It was introduced in September 2017.

For new cars tested under WLTP an equivalency factor will be used to convert WLTP data into the current NEDC ratings to avoid two sets of confusing figures.

WLTP measures cars under both urban and non-urban conditions (with the emphasis on urban) and includes fast, slow, stop, start, and so on. In fact rather like your daily driving experience, I suspect.

It replaces a system – the NEDC measurement system – that has become largely discredited for being so unrealistic, although it was revolutionary when it was first introduced. But that was back in the 1980s. WLTP will be introduced from September 2018.

Which is all good.

Less good, however, is the likely impact the new test procedure will have on car CO2 emissions and therefore, potentially, benefit in kind tax, which is based around CO2 emissions.

The general feeling is that CO2 emissions will rise. According to a report that I’ve been reading from industry analysts JATO Dynamics, that’s very much the case on the data they have been analysing, which will have an onward impact on company car taxation.

It means choosing vehicles with the lowest emissions possible will become even more important than it is now.

A further by-product may well be that car choice availability becomes more limited for a time as cars are withdrawn from sale to be tested under the new WLTP rules.

Or engineers work on the transmission and aerodynamics to increase efficiencies to meet the more strenuous demands of WLTP testing.

It’s yet another area of concern in the fleet market where certainties are often difficult to find.

But have no fear. To assist you in this transition phase we will be producing an information paper on the WLTP changes to help you understand the issues more fully.

And any questions, just ask – I’ll always try and help.



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