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WLTP! What Is It? What Will It Mean? And What Is All The Fuss About?

I am sure that over the last few months you will have seen lots of press regarding WLTP? Well here at Team B&B we thought we would share what we know with the help of The European Union.

Information supplied by –

The old lab test – called the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) – was designed in the 1980s. Due to evolutions in technology and driving conditions, it became outdated. The European Union has therefore developed a new test, called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). The EU automobile industry welcomes the shift to WLTP and has actively contributed to the development of this new test cycle.

While the old NEDC test determined test values based on a theoretical driving profile, the WLTP cycle was developed using real-driving data, gathered from around the world. WLTP therefore better represents everyday driving profiles.

The WLTP driving cycle is divided into four parts with different average speeds: low, medium, high and extra high. Each part contains a variety of driving phases, stops, acceleration and braking phases. For a certain car type, each powertrain configuration is tested with WLTP for the car’s lightest (most economical) and heaviest (least economical) version.

WLTP was developed with the aim of being used as a global test cycle across different world regions, so pollutant and CO2 emissions as well as fuel consumption values would be comparable worldwide. However, while the WLTP has a common global ‘core’, the European Union and other regions will apply the test in different ways depending on their road traffic laws and needs.


The amount of CO2 a car emits is directly related to the amount of fuel it consumes. For instance, a diesel car emitting 95g CO2 per kilometre consumes around 3.7 litres of fuel per 100km, while a petrol car consumes around 4 litres/100km for the same CO2 emissions.

Fuel efficiency, sometimes referred to as fuel economy, is the relationship between the distance travelled and the fuel consumed.


Even though the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) will provide a far more realistic representation of conditions encountered on the road than the old NEDC lab test (New European Driving Cycle), it will not cover all possible variations. Moreover, each individual driver will continue to have a different driving style: one driver might accelerate faster, take corners faster or brake more suddenly than another who might drive more conservatively.

Given that driving behaviour, traffic and weather conditions will continue to differ from one country to another, there will still be a difference between emissions measured in lab conditions and the real world. However, as there is no single real-world emission value, only values obtained by standardised laboratory tests allow us to directly compare the emissions and fuel consumption of different car models from different car manufacturers.

WLTP will introduce much more realistic testing conditions. These include:

  • More realistic driving behaviour;
  • A greater range of driving situations (urban, suburban, main road, motorway);
  • Longer test distances;
  • More realistic ambient temperatures, closer to the European average;
  • Higher average and maximum speeds;
  • Higher average and maximum drive power;
  • More dynamic and representative accelerations and decelerations;
  • Shorter stops;
  • Optional equipment: CO2 values and fuel consumption are provided for individual vehicles as built;
  • Stricter car set-up and measurement conditions;
  • Enables best and worst-case values on consumer information, reflecting the options available for similar car models.

Because of all these improvements, WLTP will provide a much more accurate basis for calculating a car’s fuel consumption and emissions.
This will ensure that lab measurements better reflect the on-road performance of a car.

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Regards The B&B Team.





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