The Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP) is a test cycle that when compared to NEDC, more accurately reflects real world driving and emissions. It’s set to be introduced in EU member states by September 2017. But it’s not until 2020, that the current test cycle, NEDC, will be completely replaced by WLTP.
WLTP is the reason why big automakers like Volkswagen are aiming to 2020 as the beginning of the electric car revolution. Volkswagen says that the electric car inspired by the I.D. concept will be available by 2020 and priced “on a par with comparably powerful and well-equipped Golf models”.
Volkswagen isn’t alone with its 2020 plans, Renault Zoe’s next battery upgrade is also scheduled for 2020, it will likely have around 65 kWh for a 600 km NEDC range, or 400 km range in WLTP.
We’ll only get cheaper and better electric cars from every automaker when approaching 2020, not because the technology isn’t ready yet, but because only then legislation mandates it. Of course some automakers will start adapting to change sooner and are already working to be recognized as electric car leaders before 2020.
For electric car fans and pioneers, 2017 is definitely the electric car’s year since range is no longer a problem in some models, but only in 2020 with more affordable prices, electric cars will begin to be mainstream.
Starting next year with the introduction of WLTP in Europe, citizens will begin to be more aware of ICE cars real consumption and emissions. Electric cars with their low running costs and emissions will highly benefit from this new test cycle.
While WLTP will measure CO2 emissions, NOx will be measured by the Particulate Real Drive Emissions (RDE). Diesel cars have no chance to survive 2020 legislation, BEVs will take over from there.
Opel is already adapting to this new test cycle and released both NEDC and WLTP figures for the Astra model. In this case the WLTP’s combined consumption figures can be as high as 91 % more than NEDC (8,2 vs 4,3 L/100 km).
Opel Ampera-e also has its WLTP estimation:
“The WLTP results are closer to real driving behavior. And the Opel Ampera-e also delivers here: Based on the development test, the engineers estimate the combined WLTP range to be more than 380 kilometers.”
Since the Chevrolet Bolt EV got 238 miles (383 km) on the EPA test cycle, we know that EPA and WLTP test cycles get very similar results.
To sum up these are some WLTP’s consequences:
- The public opinion will be more aware of ICE car’s high environmental and financial costs
- ICE cars will be more expensive to build so they can meet emission regulations
- BEVs will get batteries with more capacity, since the unrealistic NEDC range figures won’t be used anymore
What do you think?
What impact can the NEDC test cycle replacement with WLTP have in electric car sales in Europe?
How can responsible CEOs and shareholders allow investments in technologies other than electric, knowing that they’ll soon not only be obsolete but also prohibit?!