June 10, 2024

The Gap Between Real-world CO2 Emissions and WLTP Values for European Cars

The European Commission has released a comprehensive report comparing real-world CO2 emissions of vehicles to the official WLTP (Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure) values. This comparison highlights the discrepancies between laboratory testing and actual on-road performance, emphasizing the importance of realistic emissions data for policy-making and consumer trust.

Key Findings:

  1. Average CO2 Emissions and Fuel Consumption:
    • Petrol Cars: Real-world CO2 emissions are 23.7% higher than WLTP values, with real-world fuel consumption at 7.89 l/100 km compared to WLTP's 6.38 l/100 km.
    • Diesel Cars: Real-world CO2 emissions are 18.1% higher than WLTP values, with real-world fuel consumption at 6.88 l/100 km compared to WLTP's 5.82 l/100 km.
    • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs): Real-world CO2 emissions are significantly higher, with discrepancies of 238% for petrol PHEVs and 312% for diesel PHEVs compared to WLTP values.
  2. Factors Affecting the Discrepancy:
    • Utility Factor for PHEVs: PHEVs are driven less in electric mode and recharged less frequently than assumed, leading to a significant gap.
    • Vehicle Weight: Heavier vehicles like SUVs and luxury cars show a larger gap between real-world and WLTP emissions, exacerbating their higher emissions.
  3. Fleet-wide and Manufacturer-level Assessments:
    • The gap varies across manufacturers and vehicle types, with some petrol cars showing a gap ranging from 10% to 32% and diesel cars ranging from 15% to 27%.
  4. Implications and Future Actions:
    • The switch from NEDC to WLTP has halved the real-world gap for conventional vehicles, but discrepancies still exist and need continuous monitoring.
    • The Commission plans to adjust the WLTP and utility factor for PHEVs to ensure emissions values remain representative.

Petr Thiel
Petr Thiel

CEO, STH Consulting

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