Tuesday, May 21, 2024
NewsWLTP : there is defintely a gap between theory and reality

WLTP : there is defintely a gap between theory and reality

  • ICE-powered cars aren’t aligned with WLTP’s estimations.

  • PHEVs are even worse in this case.


It’s a debate that’s been going on for several years, but it now seems like the WLTP (World harmonized Light vehicle Test Procedure) fuel consumption calculation method is not entirely representative of the reality of European motorists or even those from other markets that use this procedure to classify vehicles.

According to a report by the European Commission, which evaluated the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions ratings of over 600,000 2021 model-year vehicles, there is indeed a significant gap between reality and theory.

This is only a sample of the European vehicle fleet, as the report indicates that only 10.6% of cars and 1% of vans were tested. In the case of gasoline-powered vehicles without any form of electrification, the report indicates an average fuel consumption 23.7% higher than that predicted by the WLTP method. Diesel-powered vehicles, meanwhile, consume 18.1% more than estimated.

Brands that consume significantly more than WLTP estimates include BMW, Ford, JLR, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz.

“Such a discrepancy was expected, as there are various factors affecting real-world emissions that cannot all be fully reproduced in a laboratory test, such as traffic conditions, landscape, road conditions, ambient temperature, use of air conditioning and on-board electronics, and driver behavior,” said the European Commission’s report.

But that’s not all, as plug-in hybrids fall even further short of the anticipated fuel consumption ratings. The report points to the fact that these plug-in vehicles are not sufficiently replenished with electrons, which has an impact on the vehicle’s overall consumption, with the combustion engine left alone to power the vehicle.

And as if that weren’t enough, CO2 emissions are on average 3.5 times higher than those predicted by the WLTP calculation. Once again, the fact that the battery is too often flat is a determining factor in the emissions produced by these PHEV vehicles.

It will be interesting to see if there are any changes to this procedure in the months or years to come. Such a wide gap is not only due to driver behavior on the road. Actual consumption must be more in line with the estimates of this WLTP procedure.


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