Fleet registrations in the European Union saw record breaking numbers in August, bolstered by the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) deadline, which is a new required measurement of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, as well as their pollutant emissions, effective Sept. 1.
The WLTP requires manufacturers to ensure that passenger cars and new light commercial vehicles, weighing roughly less than 26,455 pounds, meet a new required emissions standard before they are able to legally sell the vehicle in Europe, and it went into effect at the beginning of September, according to Volkswagen.
However, many manufacturers have not been able to reach the WLTP deadline, which caused the huge increase in August registrations, because, prior to Sept. 1, vehicles were sold under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), according to Dataforce. The previous standard was created in the 80s and followed a more antiquated perspective that was criticized as understating emissions.
“Given these circumstances there were only two feasible options for manufacturers and importers: either to register the car until the end of August or to store them temporarily until the testing procedures has been fully completed,” said Christian Spahn, account manager international for Dataforce.
This adjustment to emissions standards means that multinationals fleets with operations in Europe who haven’t yet been impacted by the new requirements should assess their handling of the vehicle acquisition process.
“We will be working very closely with our fleet leasing company to ensure our vehicle grading policy stays up-to-date as new fuel consumption figures are released,” said an anonymous global fleet manager. “We plan to run a Pan-European auto manufacturer RFP once we gain some clarity around the WLTP. This RFP will allow us to see which manufacturers are best prepared for the new WLTP testing, and how we can minimize our TCO under the new criteria.”
The WLTP was created as a global test cycle across different world regions, so pollutant and CO2 emissions as well as fuel consumption values would be comparable around the world, according to WLTP Facts.
“Now the new WLTP measurement of testing is in place, the key strategy is to maintain a strict stance on C02 levels whilst considering different drivetrains (electric, diesel, plug-in electric hybrid, petrol etc),” according to Alphabet International. “The introduction of different drivetrains will accelerate the overall pollution reduction strategy even further, rather than just focusing on a more limited C02 target of the past.”