The new WLTP test cycle: what’s changing

The new WLTP test cycle: what’s changing

The new WLTP test procedure poses considerable challenges for automakers. Here, you will find the most important facts at a glance.

What precisely is WLTP?

All new vehicles must undergo precise testing procedures in order to obtain the type approval. The exhaust gas emissions, fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and, in the case of electric vehicles, the range are measured. In the European Union, these measurements have been based to date on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). This is now being replaced by WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Duty Vehicles Test Procedure), whose objective is to determine more realistic fuel consumption and emissions figures for customers.

When does WLTP come into force?

Since September 1, 2017, all newly introduced models and engines have already been tested in accordance with WLTP. From September 1, 2018, this will also apply to all newly registered vehicles, including existing models. From September, it will not be possible to register new vehicles without WLTP testing. For light commercial vehicles, the procedure will become effective in September 2019.

What are the differences between the old and new test procedures?

The new test cycle is considerably longer and much more complex. There are more frequent braking and acceleration phases and the average speed is higher. Special equipment is also taken into consideration if it has an impact on the weight, aerodynamics or rolling resistance of the vehicle.

What are the challenges faced by the Volkswagen Group?

We need to carry out measurements for more than 260 engine and transmission combinations, as well as a wide variety of special equipment items to be taken into consideration. In the case of the Golf alone, there are already 2 million possible combinations. The real challenge is the lack of available time: from the time when the law came into effect, we only had 13 months to prepare for WLTP.

Source: Volkswagen AG 

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