WLTP: What is it and how does it affect car leasing and potential buyers?

JonathanMay 2, 2018

What is WLTP?

WLTP is the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure, and is the EU’s new fuel efficiency rating for all cars.

How does WLTP Compare to NEDC?

NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) was designed in the 1980s, making it pretty outdated, and is based on theoretical driving. WLTP is based on real driving, and provides much more realistic data based on real world performance:

  • More realistic driving behaviour
  • A greater range of driving situations
  • Longer distances
  • Higher average and maximum speeds & drive power
  • Optional extras (larger/smaller wheels, sunroofs etc.) – CO2 values are provided 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

How does it Work?

The tests measure fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, NOX & CO particulates by mass and number, and (if applicable) range of alternative powertrains. The change is how these are tested.

The WLTP driving cycle is divided into four parts, each at a different speed – low, medium, high, and extra high. Each of these parts has a variety of real-world instances – starts, stops, acceleration etc. If the car is a hybrid, each powertrain will be tested in their most and least economical modes to give a more accurate real-world reading.

How does it Apply to Plug-in Hybrids & Electric Cars?

Plug-in hybrids will do the test several times, going from a full battery until after the battery is drained for a more accurate idea of real-world economy.

Obviously, electric cars don’t produce emissions – however there will be more accurate data on power consumption and range.

What about Brexit?

Manufacturers supply vehicles all over the world so, although we are leaving the EU, it’s more economical for manufacturers to produce cars to a single standard.

When is it Happening?

The transition will happen in three steps:

  • September 2017: WLTP officially applied to new types of cars – cars that first began production after this date.
  • September 2018: WTLP will apply to all car registrations. An exception should be made for end-of-series vehicles allowing them to be sold under the old NEDC test for one more year.
  • September 2019: The limited number of unsold vehicles in stock that were approved under NEDC to be sold by now.

What does it Mean for Car Leasing?

We think it’s going to be a double-edged sword – costs will go up for new models – especially diesels, which is (partly) why manufacturers and funders are starting to embrace petrol and alternative fuels. Company car drivers may also see a change in which banding their car falls into, which will affect their Benefit in Kind rates.

However, we think there is going to be plenty of existing stock floating around that’s going to be pre-registered, and manufacturers are going to want to sell it.

Verband der Automobilindustrie

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