Because of the shortcomings of the old car emissions test, the European Union has introduced a new lab test, called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). With the WLTP, testing conditions have become much more realistic.
All these elements make the new WLTP test more accurate than the old lab test (NEDC, short for the New European Driving Cycle).
WLTP applies to new types of cars since 1 September 2017 and to all car registrations as of September 2018. However, before the switch to WLTP can be completed, a number of issues still need to be resolved by the EU.
The key issues are:
- Labelling: ensuring a smooth transition in the system of labelling from the old test (NEDC) to the new test (WLTP), so that the customer is not confused.
- Data collection: there are challenges on how to collect NEDC and WLTP data reliably from all 28 EU member states, in order to legally monitor compliance with the CO2 fleet targets.
- Future standards: as emissions will be measured differently in the future, governments need to ensure that CO2-based taxation will be fair in the transition period between the old and the new lab test.
Measurements of pollutants in the laboratory are now also complemented by the new Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test, which ensures that vehicles deliver low pollutant emissions, not only in the laboratory but also on the road.
RDE testing of cars on real roads under realistic driving conditions is a new addition to the testing requirements, making Europe the first region in the world with such an on-the-road test.