WLTP vs NEDC range - How will the change affect me?

May 30, 2018

Changes are being made in the automotive world; in the coming months, NEDC is going to be abolished and WLTP is going to take it's place. But what will this mean for EV's? Actually, it will impact all vehicles - BEV's, ICE & PHEV's alike. Firstly, WLTP stands for Worldwide Harmonised Light vehicle Tests Procedure. Within this test, the lab tests for passenger cars will measure; fuel consumption, co2 emissions, pollutant emissions, & energy consumption values. 




NEDC was set up in the late 90's, and is seriously outdated using low acceleration & slow speeds to achieve the lowest emissions score possible. Unfortunately, this doesn't reflect real world driving. WLTP is supposed to better reflect real world driving conditions & better matches on road performance. This will impact all vehicles in different ways; EV's & PHEV's will see their range decrease by about 20% whereas ICE vehicles will see their co2 emissions increase by around 20 grams per kilometre. You don't need to worry though, the car remains the same. This new system will in fact give a far more accurate indication of real world range for EV's. 



In recent years, more & more EU countries are basing their taxation system on co2 emissions, which meant manufacturers were trying to optimise their models to achieve the lowest emissions possible. As a result, drivers now struggle to match the "expected" range / fuel consumption to real world conditions. Another downfall; NEDC examines just 1 model (generally the most economical version) and bases all of the ratings off of it. In comparison, WLTP will test each car configuration, meaning a larger tyre size or a heavyweight option could greatly affect the co2 rating of the car & the VRT or road tax you will pay. But at least you will have a WLTP range, instead of 1 static NEDC figure. 


WLTP will come into play from September 2018 for all new models coming to the market. From January 2019 onward, all new cars including models launched previously will be publicised with WLTP figures. Prior to this taking affect, vehicles will be optimised to this more realistic test - possibly through software updates and the like but this still needs to be confirmed!


EV drivers need not fear WLTP, but ICE drivers might have something to worry about. Because the tax system is based on the NEDC with regards to co2 emissions, if these figures increase you could well find yourself in a higher tax bracket paying an additional €80 ore more. This could be a great incentive to push even more people towards driving an EV if managed correctly. Manufacturers have been slow to comment on the upcoming change because they have been advised not to communicate in case of customer confusion because models are still being tested so there are no official figures to publish yet. They are also wary of causing a "collapse" in the 2019 market due to the hike in VRT / Motor tax etc. 


Luckily, EV drivers should not be negatively affected. PHEV's will need to undergo some modifications to maintain their advantage over diesels. EV & PHEV's will still benefit from VRT rebates, SEAI grants & the lower motor tax band. 

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