WLTP will give car buyers more realistic fuel economy and emissions values when buying their new car

WLTP: Everything You Need To Know

WLTP will give car buyers more realistic fuel economy and emissions values when buying their new car
New WLTP emissions testing for new cars and vans looks set to shake up the motor industry

What is WLTP?

WLTP is a new, more realistic test procedure for measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for new cars, as well as their pollutant emissions directly on the road by the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test. Here's a simple guide to the new procedure and what it means for motorists in Ireland.

What does WLTP stand for?

Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure.

What does WLTP measure?

Under EU law, all new passenger cars must undergo emissions testing. WLTP is a new laboratory test that measures fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for passenger cars, and their pollutant emissions. It replaces the New European Test Cycle (NEDC) that was used since 1992.

Why the change?

The WLTP is a stricter set of test conditions that will give more realistic fuel consumption and CO2 emission values for the benefit of consumers. NEDC was based on theoretical driving; the new procedure is based on real driving data that better reflects on-road performance.


  • Dynamic cycle more representative of real driving vs single test cycle
  • 30 mins cycle time vs 20 mins cycle time
  • 23.25 km cycle distance vs 11 km cycle distance
  • 4 more dynamic driving phases vs 2 driving phases
  • 46.5 km/h average speed vs 34 km/h average speed
  • 131 km/h maximum speed vs 120 km/h maximum speed
  • Influence of optional equipment on CO2 and fuel performance considered under new procedure
  • Different gear shift points for each vehicle vs fixed gear shift points
  • Measurements at 23 degrees Celsius, CO2 values corrected to 14 degrees Celsius vs measurements at 20-30 degrees Celsius

What's the impact?

Due to more realistic test conditions, the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions measured under the new procedure are in many cases higher compared to those measured under the NEDC. In countries like Ireland that follow CO2 based taxation, this obviously will have an impact on the price of our cars and motor tax if adjustments are not made by national governments. The new test also measures the influence of optional equipment on CO2 and fuel economy, so these values may vary for cars within the same model range depending on vehicle specification.

When does WLTP start?

The new procedure is being phased in between 2017 and 2020. It's in the news now because from 1st September 2018, all new cars must be approved under the WLTP test procedure. In the transitional period, new cars will have both a WLTP and a calculated NEDC equivalent CO2 and consumption value, the latter which can still be used for vehicle registration and taxation purposes until full bedding in of WLTP in 2020. From 1st January 2019, the EU recommends that only fuel consumption and CO2 emissions values under the new procedure are used for consumer information purposes.

Does WLTP apply to vans?

Yes it does. From 1 September 2018 manufacturers will have to provide WLTP values for newly introduced light commercial vehicles.

WLTP in Ireland

WLTP values for CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, and the calculated NEDC values that can be used during the transition to full WLTP, will in many cases be higher compared to the NEDC values for the same car. In Ireland, this could mean that cars become more expensive to buy and to tax as we transition. Some brands are predicting increases of a few hundred euro based on the NEDC-correlated values. SIMI is calling on the Government to review VRT Bands in the next Budget to accommodate for higher, more realistic CO2 emissions on new cars as a result of the new emissions testing procedure, so that the consumer does not incur additional costs. Industry experts predict that some models could be discontinued if they are no longer deemed to be suitable for the Irish market based on rising costs as a result of CO2 based taxation. However there is still uncertainty in the industry to the full impact, with many insiders taking a 'wait and see' approach.

Which cars are WLTP compliant?

Up to date information can be found from the manufacturers' websites. Some manufacturers have already released revised fuel economy and emissions data for their range of vehicles.

For more information, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has created this resource.

Caroline Kidd

New car CO2 emissions rise in europe

New Car CO2 Emissions Rise In Europe

Average CO2 emissions generated by new cars in Europe increased during 2017 for the first time in ten years, according to JATO Dynamics.

The analysis covered 23 European markets and found that average CO2 emissions increased by 0.3g/km in 2017 – finishing at 118.1g/km.

This rise in average CO2 emissions correlates with a decrease in demand for diesel cars across Europe – which produce lower CO2 emissions than petrol cars – and the rising popularity of SUVs, which emit higher average CO2 emissions.

Data for 2017 shows that diesel cars registered in the market had a CO2 emissions average of 117.9g/km, compared to petrol cars, which had an average of 123.4g/km – a difference of 5.5g/km.

Likewise, the average power output of a diesel engine registered in the EU was found to be 142HP, with 117.9g/km CO2 emitted.

The average power output of a petrol engine registered in the EU was found to be 123HP, with 123.4g/km emitted.

New car CO2 emissions rise in Europe
New car CO2 emissions rise in Europe

With increased negative public perception towards diesels, combined with increased government regulation and scrutiny of the fuel type, the volume of diesel cars registered fell by 7.9% to 6.77 million units in 2017.

In turn, diesel cars accounted for just 43.8% of total registrations in 2017, which is 11.1 percentage points lower than their peak, seen in 2011, and the fuel type’s lowest market share since 2003, when diesels accounted for 43.4% of total registrations.

Whilst demand for diesel cars declined in 2017, registrations of petrol cars increased by 10.9% – the highest level since 2003. This meant the market share of petrol vehicles grew by 3 percentage points from 47% to 50% between 2016 and 2017.

New car CO2 emissions rise in Europe
New car CO2 emissions rise in Europe

Alternative-Fuelled-Vehicles only experienced a small increase in volume. Despite the declining popularity of diesels, they increased their market share from 3% in 2016 to 5% in 2017.

Battery-Electric-Vehicles (BEVs) experienced meagre growth too. This could be due to consumer scepticism when it comes to the battery ranges of BEVs and the number of charging points available on the road network at present. In comparison, the market share of hybrid vehicles increased by one percentage point.

Demand for SUVs continued to rise in 2017 – but despite the introduction of smaller SUVs to the market and the adoption of hybrid solutions, which helped reduce the segments average CO2 emissions from 134.9g/km in 2016 to 133.0g/km in 2017, SUVs contributed to the overall increase of average CO2 emissions in Europe. This was because they emitted far higher average CO2 emissions than the new car average of 118.1g/km in 2017.

The correlation between the decline in demand for diesel cars and the increase in CO2 emissions was most evident in Europe’s largest markets. Diesel demand fell by double-digits in Germany and the UK, and in France and Spain it fell by 5.4% and 8.1% respectively. As a result, average CO2 emissions increased in all of these car markets.

New car CO2 emissions rise in Europe
New car CO2 emissions rise in Europe

At a brand level, Peugeot, which led the ranking in 2016, fell to second place after its emissions average increased by 2.7g/km to 104.5g/km in 2017. This was mainly due to its increased presence in the SUV segment, in particular with the Peugeot 3008, which experienced a high volume of registrations.

Toyota became Europe’s cleanest car brand amongst the top 20 best-selling brands, with its emissions average decreasing by 2.7 g/km to 101.2g/km. This can be attributed to increased demand for its hybrid vehicle models, which represented half of all registrations for the brand, with petrol (42%) and diesel (7.5%) cars making up the rest of its registrations.

Ford Mustang Bullitt

Ford Mustang Bullitt For Europe

The Ford Mustang Bullitt will go into production for customers in Europe from June.

When this special edition of the famous pony car was first revealed at the Detroit Auto Show in January, it was not known if it would reach Europe so this is good news for European Mustang fans.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the legendary Warner Bros. film starring Steve McQueen, the new Ford Mustang Bullitt special edition features Ford’s 5.0-litre V8 engine enhanced to deliver an anticipated 464PS and 529Nm of torque.

The new Ford Mustang Bullitt also introduces new rev-matching technology for seamless gear changes accompanied by a “blip” of the engine when downshifting, and an active valve performance exhaust system enhances the V8’s signature sound.

This Bullitt edition is offered with a choice of Shadow Black or classic Dark Highland Green.

“Our special edition new Ford Mustang Bullitt evokes a unique heritage we’re proud to share with the McQueen family, and are excited to offer for customers in Europe for the first time," said Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Ford Motor Company.

Special edition styling includes 19-inch Torq Thrust-style wheels, red Brembo™ brake callipers and a faux Bullitt fuel-filler cap. The interior features Recaro sports seats, and each Ford Mustang Bullitt will have an individually numbered plaque in place of the traditional Mustang emblem on the passenger-side dashboard. As a nod to the original car’s interior, the gear shifter features a white cue ball gearshift knob.

Ford’s 12-inch all-digital LCD instrument cluster and B&O PLAY audio system delivering 1,000 watts through 12 high-performance speakers will also be included.