More Stringent Emissions Tests Come Into Effect In EU, Starting Tomorrow

September 1 will be the first day EU will apply the two new, more stringent emissions tests for all new cars and vans.

Replacing the outdated New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test is the Worldwide Harmonized Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure or WLTP lab test, which will introduce more realistic testing conditions for measuring pollutant and CO2 emissions, therefore providing a more accurate basis for measuring a vehicle’s fuel consumption and emissions.

The second test the Real Driving Emissions test (RDE), which will also apply as of tomorrow, making Europe the only region in the world to put such a test into a full effect.

For the RDE, a car will be driven on public roads over a wide range of conditions using portable measuring equipment. RDE will complement the WLTP test cycle, ensuring that emissions levels measured during the laboratory test are also confirmed on the road.

“The automobile industry has invested heavily to achieve significant improvements in emissions from RDE-compliant Euro 6 vehicles,” said Erik Jonnaert Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

“Indeed, these diesel vehicles will deliver very low pollutant emissions not only in the laboratory, but also on the road. We believe that the introduction of this latest generation of diesel vehicles, supported by fleet renewal plans, will play a strong role in helping cities move towards compliance with EU air quality targets.”

As of September 1, WLTP will apply to all new vehicles that are introduced on the European market for the first time. EU will apply WLTP to all new cars registered in September 2018. Similarly the first stage of RDE will apply to all new cars introduced for the first time in the EU as of September 1. In September 2019 RDE will be enforced to all new cars sold in the EU.



  • Adrian
    • atomiccow

      Emissions regulation around the world is a complicated minefield. In reality, everyone’s emissions standards are built with corporate lobbying in mind. The EU vehicle emissions have always seemed stringent but in reality they were lax and did not reflect real world driving. That is why the same car sold in North America and in the EU could have vastly different fuel economy ratings. The rating would be significantly higher in the EU, but the car would pollute the all the same.

      For passenger cars, the US currently has the most stringent emissions regulations in the world. The regulatory bodies of the US have done a respectable job (relative the EU) at enforcing emmissions regulation for passenger cars. Part of the reason why diesel cars are not as popular in the US is because it is more expensive for automakers to sell them there since they would be forced to fit expensive emissions treatment systems. In the EU, if the car’s engine is small enough, they could forgo fitting the systems entirely. In reality though, if you pushed those engines hard, they would still be polluting just as badly.

      The US regulation for commercial vehicles like trucks is completely different. The reason there is little regulation on those is because commercial vehicles are a cost for all businesses and not just truck makers. The affects of making commercial vehicles more expensive would impact the entire US economy more, therefor the lobbying power for commercial vehicles is higher.

    • psiqtas

      Thank the VW not Americans!

  • Milica Jac

    Can u please explain last paragraph? Smthng will happen in 2017, 2018 and 2019. When will manufacturers be obligated to make new milage numbers official?

    • Michael Karkafiris

      It all depends if the car is already available for sale or not. As of tomorrow, all new cars that are introduced for the first time in Europe will be measured by the new tests, therefore their official consumption figures will be based on the WLTP (and RDE) cycle. In one year from now, WLTP will become the only test for all new cars, including existing ones that didn’t fall into the previous category. RDE will be enforced similarly in 2019.

      However, I think that most of the major car makers will make the switch to the new rules for marketing reasons, even if it’s not mandatory. PSA and Opel have already done it, expect others to follow.

      • Milica Jac


    • atomiccow

      There are two separate testing cycles: WLTP and RDE. WLTP is carried out in lab and RDE is carried out on road. It sounds like that all cars that are all-new models will have WLTP and RDE results in 2017. All new cars sold (so carry-over models included) will have WLTP results starting 2018 and RDE results starting 2019.

      • Milica Jac

        Thnx man

  • atomiccow

    This is a step in the right direction provided that these new tests are not just fronts made with automaker lobbying. If these tests are good, then hopefully the US could consider adopting them so world emissions and fuel economy standards would be unified. In the old European fuel economy and emissions testing cycle, it was easy to achieve very high numbers with technology like start-stop. In the current US testing cycles, start-stop adds nothing. In the end, the true usefulness of various technologies like mild hybridization is lost in one or the other cycles, so automakers won’t bring one technology or another to a market even if it would have benefit in reality.

  • Vassilis


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