New wltp emissions test automakers give the all

A year ago, the introduction of the WLTP consumption test threw the auto industry into severe turmoil. On 1. September, the next version is already coming into force. This time, however, the chaos will be absent, say the carmakers – and explain why.

New wltp emissions test automakers give the all
New wltp emissions test automakers give the all

An exhaust pipe from a VW Golf 7 with a TDI diesel engine in the light of a production line. Good news for car buyers: At 1. The next stage of the WLTP consumption test comes into force in September -. Unlike a year ago, no tax increase follows from it. September the next stage of the WLTP consumption test comes into force -. Unlike a year ago, no tax increase follows from it. And almost all models remain available, promises the auto industry.

With the WLTP test cycle, the EU has ensured that car buyers now have a better idea of how much fuel their cars really use. The values on paper and on the road differ much less than before. The disadvantage: Because the CO2 values on paper are now more realistic and up to a third higher, the tax authorities collect correspondingly more vehicle tax – and that can amount to 20 euros for the small Suzuki Swift or 94 euros more for the VW Touareg.

For the auto industry, WLTP part 1 was "a huge step, completely new territory," says Audi spokesman Udo Rügheimer. Part 2 is not comparable with this. According to Daimler, another 300 pages of regulations have now been added – to the 700 pages so far.

One year ago, WLTP caused chaos: No car could be sold in the EU without a WLTP certificate. The testers could hardly keep up, the test stands became a bottleneck, dozens of models were not available for months. VW produced 250.000 cars on stockpile, the planned Berlin airport BER became a large parking lot. Wolfsburg estimates its WLTP costs at a good one billion euros. Audi, the company most behind schedule in dealing with its diesel scandal, felt the consequences well into the current year.

Now carmakers have to meet new EU requirements again. But "most of the changes are corrections, clarifications or improvements," explains the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). There is now even less tolerance in the measurements. Documentation requirements to be extended. Car manufacturers have to test how much gasoline can evaporate from the tank for two days. And at least with random tests they have to prove that their vehicles still comply with the original values after five years in operation.

Gearshift points and driving curves have also been changed: "A few points have been readjusted," says BMW spokesman Martin Tholund. And all new vehicles must also comply with the limits in road tests. BMW has already completed everything: "We have all type approvals already in the bag."

And Audi also sees itself well prepared this time. The changes are much smaller than in 2018. Audi now has a third more test capacity. The number of engine-transmission variants has been reduced by a third to nearly 170. And not all of them will actually have to be put to the test this time: Many have already met the new requirements since the changeover in 2018, in which case the permits can be rewritten. Almost all Audi variants have already been approved, explained Rügheimer. The rest should follow in a few weeks.

WLTP Part 2 "is keeping manufacturers on their toes – but the VDA does not expect any significant delays in approval as in the past year," says the industry's leading association.

Euro 7 is already being discussed at the European level – perhaps with limits for nitrous oxide, braking and tire wear. But the ADAC does not expect a new legislative proposal from the EU Commission until 2021 at the earliest.

Euro 6a, 6b, 6c and 6d , 6d-TEMP, 6d-TEMP-EVAP, now Euro 6d-TEMP-EVAP-ISC and 6d-ICS-FCM: The many standards that follow one another in quick succession are not only very costly for manufacturers, but have also "led to great confusion and lack of understanding among drivers," criticizes the automobile club.

After all, every car buyer in Europe now receives from the manufacturer the CO2 value of his individual car. So he sees how a panoramic roof, a trailer hitch or 22-inch tires increase weight, aerodynamic drag and thus fuel consumption. This is not the case everywhere. WLTP is called "worldwide uniform light vehicle test procedure" and was developed by a UN authority, on behalf of the EU. But it was only implemented in Europe. In America and Asia, standards salad makes business difficult for carmakers.




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