Worldwide Harmonised Light-Duty Vehicle Test Procedure

The WLTP test cycle became mandatory in September 2017 for all new car models sold in the European Union, and for all cars sold there since September 2018. The test is also required in many other regions worldwide, including being the most preferred test method for the New Zealand Transport Agency. According to the legal requirement in New Zealand, the data supplied is representative of a basic specification level vehicle. Any options added to the vehicle will impact fuel consumption and emissions.

During the test, the vehicle is loaded with a specific percentage of the payload (15% for passenger cars; 28% for light commercials), and the air conditioning and other auxiliary systems are turned off. The test cycle lasts about 30 minutes and covers a distance of approximately 23.3 km.

What is WLTP?

The Worldwide Harmonised Light-Duty Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) is a laboratory test designed to measure the fuel consumption, emissions, and range of electric vehicles.

The test uses a standardised cycle and conditions to provide more accurate and comparable results between different vehicles, and is more reliable than the previous test (NEDC). However, it's important to note that the WLTP does not precisely replicate real-world driving conditions.


The previous standard for testing vehicle performance, the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), introduced in 1992, is outdated and not as comprehensive as the WLTP cycleIn contrast, the WLTP test cycle aims to provide more realistic and accurate values during a vehicle's approval testing. It considers a wider range of driving situations and conditions that better reflect real-world driving. As a result, the CO2 emissions and fuel consumption figures for vehicles may appear higher when compared to the NEDC figures currently available.


What will change?

In Autumn 2017, WLTP replaced the NEDC measuring procedure. New testing parameters ensure more realistic values. The new testing procedure has a modified driving cycle and stricter test specifications. These include a longer time span for the measurement along with a higher maximum speed.

Explaining WLTP