Feb 24, 2017  •  10 min read

The way that vehicle CO2 emissions are measured is set for a big change in 2017, and the Volkswagen Group UK has put together a task force to help its customers – especially fleet drivers and managers – understand the impact.

From September 2017, the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) will gradually replace the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) – which has been used since 1992.

The new WLTP test will measure a vehicle’s CO2 value under laboratory conditions, taking into account the vehicle’s mass and optional equipment including low-rolling resistance tyres and aerodynamic features. It is designed to be more representative of modern driving – particularly higher speeds and loads, more aggressive acceleration, and fewer and shorter pauses in motion.

Currently, NEDC values are only applicable in Europe, but the new WLTP will be a global standard – excluding China and the USA.

It will be phased in over the next four years – being applied to any vehicle with a new type approval number from September 2017, and to all new vehicles from September 2018. During this transitional period, vehicles will have correlated NEDC and WLTP values to provide a comparison.

The introduction of the WLTP and new CO2 figures will potentially impact the way that fleet managers and fleet user-choosers configure their vehicles in order to ensure the best benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax values.

Volkswagen Group UK is already part of a WLTP working group – which also comprises other manufacturers, leasing companies, and industry bodies and organisations, such as the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), and Cap hpi – and will be looking to feed information to fleet buyers during the course of this year.