Start of new 'realistic' test to gauge MPG, emissions
The first step towards a new, more realistic, way of measuring a car's emissions begins on Friday.
It is called the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) and will replace the current, terribly outdated NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) test.
The WLTP tests are expected to reflect more typical levels of fuel consumption and C02 emissions.
From Friday, only totally new models will be tested under the WLTP system.
But all cars - including the WLTP-tested models - will continue to have their published emissions based on NEDC data.
However, from September 2018, all new cars must have C02 values based on WLTP.
These figures will not impact on marketing or taxation of new cars until January 2019 at the earliest. It is important to note that the new test will not increase a car's consumption, it will reflect it more accurately.
But the move has sparked concerns that the higher C02 values could lead to increases in VRT and road tax in the longer term if governments don't modify tax bands to take the new figures into account.
Automakers are hoping that will be the case in countries, like Ireland, with emissions-based taxation systems.
There is pressure for authorities to continue to levy tax on 'old' NEDC data in a transition period at least.
WLTP will involve a lot more testing under more realistic conditions, including a greater range of driving scenarios (urban, suburban, motorway); higher average/max speeds, etc.