The current lab test – called the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) – was designed in the 1980s. Due to evolutions in technology and driving conditions, it has become outdated today. 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 been contributing actively to the development of this new test cycle.
While the old NEDC test determines test values based on a theoretical driving profile, the WLTP cycle was developed using real-driving data, gathered from around the world. It therefore better represents everyday driving profiles.
The WLTP driving cycle will be 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 will have 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.