Adoption of new fuel consumption test can cause confusion for fleets says Arval

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WLTP, the new EU fuel consumption and emissions test comes in effect from this September, and Arval, the vehicle funding and fleet management solutions provider says that fleets need to be aware of the implications of the new standards.

Not least that the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) which replaces the outgoing New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) is designed to provide results that are much closer to real world figures, with experts believing it will result in official MPG and CO2 figures rising by about 30%.

With some manufacturers already releasing figures under the new WLTP standards, that’s especially pertinent in situations where fleet buyers are comparing different vehicles and it may be unclear whether they are looking at WLTP or NEDC statistics.

Shaun Sadlier, head of consultancy at Arval, said: “The adoption of WLTP is just starting to get underway and the first manufacturers are releasing their figures under the new test. By September of this year, all cars on sale must have certification and, from the start of 2019, manufacturers will have to use WLTP figures in all their marketing and promotional material.

Sean Sadlier
Photo: Professional Images/@ProfImages

“This is something that is happening now and has definite implications for fleets in various areas. Most importantly, because MPG and CO2 emissions figures form such an important element of drawing up choice lists, it could affect which vehicles fleets choose to run.

“Our experience so far is that awareness among fleets is patchy and some are being slow to recognise the implications of the new test. They tend to know about WLTP but not about its imminent arrival nor about the potential impact it could have.”

The most immediate problem facing fleets is simply to ensure that when they are looking at figures for a particular car, they knew whether they are NEDC or WLTP statistics.

“If you are comparing different vehicles, you need to ensure that you know what you are looking at and that any decisions are being made on a like-for-like basis.”

Shaun also highlighted that from April 2020, the UK Government will start using WLTP figures for all vehicle taxation.

“While this is more than two years away, it is well within the typical life cycle of fleet vehicles that you are buying now. You need to be thinking about the potential impact.”

He welcomed the introduction of the WLTP standard. “Overall, we believe that that the arrival of WLTP is a hugely positive development for fleets, giving them easy access to fuel and emissions data that is much more meaningful.

“It has been widely acknowledged for a long time that the old NEDC test was flawed when it came to the modern vehicle parc and having better quality information will simply allow fleets to make better, more accurate decisions. However, the changeover will require some proactive management and we are already helping our customers through this process.”