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European Car Makers Delaying Real World MGP Tests

By raccars Published

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European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) members, including BMW, Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen, are trying to delay the introduction of a new testing process which would return a more realistic mpg figure than the current system. Independent testing has proved a number of times that the controversial manufacturer published mpg figures are 38% higher than drivers can expect in real world driving situations.

The process has come under severe criticism a number of times, leading the European Commission to introduce a new testing regime in 2017, called the World Light Duty Test Procedure (WLTP). Created by a team of experts from India, Japan and the European Union, it is designed to more accurately reflect real world road conditions and would prevent manufacturers from taking advantage of loopholes in regulations, which allow them to effectively cheat the system by taping up panel gaps and removing items from the car which add weight - including passenger seats.

However, the ACEA has told the European Commission that it cannot comply with the new regime until 2020. The delay would help manufacturers to meet current New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) testing before they have to comply with strict new CO2 emissions targets of 95g/km in 2021. Transport & Environment, a campaign group, claims that the ACEA, in conjunction with the German Government, are trying to bring the 95g/km target down, as it is derived from NEDC tests and changes will need to be made for new WLTP standards.

According to Transport & Environment, under WLTP the CO2 target would be 105g/km. However, the ACEA and German Government claim they could meet 95g/km if allowed to continue to manipulate the flexibilities in the existing NEDC tests. However, if these were allowed in WLTP the CO2 target would rise to 120g/km. The Dutch and UK Governments support the introduction of WLTP and the campaign to close testing loopholes, such as using rolling roads and pre charging batteries.

Current NEDC testing parameters have been in place since 1997. They include a series of urban driving cycles and an extra urban cycle, and several measurements are taken throughout the procedure.

Manufacturers are fined €95 for every unit they sell which fails to meet the CO2 emissions target, a regulation to which the ACEA is objecting. A Transport & Environment spokesperson suggested that British car buyers would appreciate an end to artificially inflated fuel economy figures.

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