WLTP Explained

What is WLTP and What Does it Mean?

WLTP stands for Worldwide Harmonized Light-Duty Test Procedure – a long-winded way of saying a new standard to measure fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, and range. 

Introduced in Autumn 2017, the WLTP measures vehicles in realistic driving situations and determines their fuel consumption, range, and emissions. Mandatory to all manufacturers, this test replaces the former NEDC test and helps consumers make informed decisions about their vehicle purchases.  

> What’s Wrong with the NEDC?

The NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) has long been criticised as unrealistic by specialists and the public. The test simulates driving a petrol vehicle on European streets in a laboratory setting – not a great measure when no one drives in a laboratory. 

Developed in the 1980s and not updated within this millennium, the test has been criticised for not simulating response to current traffic, being difficult to replicate, not taking optional equipment and accessories into account, and more. Not to mention, the test has since been used to evaluate diesel cars, hybrids, and all-electric vehicles, even though it was only designed to test petrol vehicles.

With an increasing demand for a more realistic measure of CO2 emissions, range, and fuel consumption, the WLTP was developed. 

Volkswagen in for a service


> Why the WLTP?

The WLTP delivers consumption and CO2 emission figures that are similar to real life driving. The driving cycle for testing is faster, longer, and more dynamic, plus considers optional accessories such as bigger wheels, spoilers, and 4WD. 

The WLTP also simulates day to day driving with every model in every variant, anywhere in the world. Speed, duration, and distance are the core attributes of the procedure, but driving dynamics such as braking, stop times, and acceleration phases are also considered. Instead of the same factory settings, different road types, varied temperatures, and gearshifts are tested.   

Check out the graph to see the breakdown of comparisons between NEDC and WLTP.

> How Does This Affect Me?

Short answer – it won’t affect your current vehicle or your car buying experience.

The long answer is it will provide you an accurate measurement of emissions, fuel consumption, and range when you look into purchasing a new vehicle, which could sway your decision. 

Keep in mind that the WLTP numbers are typically higher than their NEDC counterparts, but this is because they are more accurate. The numbers are especially relevant when shopping for an EV (electric vehicle), as they are providing a realistic expectation for each vehicle’s range. 

Want to learn about our fuel-efficient options? Get in touch with a Product Specialist to find the model for you and discover the possibilities.

Volkswagen ID.5 plugged in a charging station with woman in a yellow suit walking towards it
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Please note that imagery and specifications may be of overseas vehicles and include optional extras.