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First WLTP results spell near-future tax burden for fleets

Vehicles re-tested under the new WLTP fuel economy cycle are recording “greater than expected” increases in CO2 emissions when figures are converted back to NEDC, JATO Dynamics has warned, adding that this will result in significant tax rises for fleets over the coming 12 months.

Urgent need for WLTP tax reform, experts warn

More realistic fuel economy data could result in CO2 increases of 20% compared to the outgoing test cycle.

The World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) came into force in September, replacing the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) and aimed at offering more representative fuel consumption and CO2 emission data for new vehicles.

Within 12 months, all new cars will have to be re-tested to produce WLTP data, except those which are due to be discontinued. WLTP is expected to result in CO2 increases of around 20% compared to NEDC figures.

However, as taxation and the EU’s fleet-wide CO2 target of 95g/km are both based on NEDC figures, there’s a crossover period where both sets of data will be required. All new vehicles will be WLTP-tested, and converted to ‘NEDC correlated’ fuel economy and CO2 emissions using a tool called CO2MPAS. In the UK, these simulated NEDC figures will be used for vehicle tax.

Analysis from JATO, published in a new white paper, has shown this could be problematic. The first NEDC correlated figures are up to 18% higher than the genuine NEDC fuel economy and CO2 emissions from earlier this year.

In turn, that could mean up to a five percentage-point Benefit in Kind increase for drivers compared to an identical vehicle registered a few months ago.

JATO also warned that this could make the 2020 95g/km CO2 targets very difficult to meet, placing greater reliance on electrification: “The automotive industry would need fully electric vehicles to account for 15% of the market in 2021 in order to meet the 95g/km CO2 target. This is striking considering that the current level of fully electric vehicles registered in the EU is 1% of the market.

“It’s clear change needs to happen, considering the combination of the current trend of declining demand for diesels and the reduced diesel offerings from automotive companies, as well as the growth of the SUV segment and the slow progress of electric vehicles in the industry.”

Data source: JATO Dynamics.

MakeModelVersionJuly 17 CO2 (g/km)Oct 17 CO2 (g/km)Increase% increaseBiK Group Increase
BMWX53.0 XDRIVE30D A1561832717%4
BMWX53.0 M500 A1732053218%1
BMWX53.0 XDRIVE40D A1571832617%4
BMWX63.0 M50D1742063218%1
BMWX63.0 XDRIVE30D A1571832617%4
BMWX63.0 XDRIVE40D A1631832012%3
PEUGEOT3081.2 PURETECH 130 ALLURE SW1111241312%2
PEUGEOT3081.2 PURETECH 130 ACTIVE SW1061211514%3
PEUGEOT3081.2 PURETECH 130 ALLURE1071201312%3
PEUGEOT3081.2 PURETECH 130 ACTIVE1041171313%3
VOLVOXC602.0 D4 MOMENTUM GEARTRONIC 4WD133144118%2
VOLVOXC602.0 D5 INSCRIPTION GEARTRONIC 4WD14415286%2
VOLVOXC602.0 D4 INSCRIPTION GEARTRONIC 4WD1331481511%3
VOLVOXC602.0 D4R DESIGN GEARTRONIC 4WD1331481511%3
VOLVOXC602.0 D5R DESIGN GEARTRONIC 4WD14415286%2
VOLVOXC902.0 D5 AWD INSCRIPTION GEARTRONIC149163149%3
VOLVOXC902.0 D5 AWD MOMENTUM GEARTRONIC1491732416%5
VOLVOXC902.0 D5 AWR R DESIGN GEARTRONIC149163149%3

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.