“WLTP is a Pandora’s Box of problems”
NEDC to WLTP: it caused the rollercoaster ride in sales mentioned earlier by Marc Odinius (Dataforce) at the Fleet Europe Remarketing Forum. But the impact of the change is much greater than that, and Magnus Lövsund, Director of Valuation & Insight at Autovista brought a smorgasbord of data to make that point.
“WLTP was designed to be simple for the end user but has opened up a Pandora’s Box of problems for the automotive industry”, he said.
NEDC, the previous vehicle emissions test paradigm, was not designed to test hybrids or alternative-fuel vehicles. It was also said to underreport real-world emissions. WLTP was designed to solve all that. But in doing so, it created a serious headache for the industry.
The transition to WLTP, on 1 September, created winners and losers. A handful of cars saw their emissions rate go down. For most, however, it went up. “The average CO2 emissions reading went up by 22%”, Mr Lövsund said. But the increase varies strongly per powertrain type – all of them went up, though, even PHEVs.
As a result, the ‘orderability’ of vehicle model ranges decreased: “In June in Germany, the move to WLTP rules has caused automakers to temporarily stop selling a wide range of model variants”. For Audi, for example, 22 models – almost half the range – was no longer on offer.
The transition is not over: countries are implementing the tax implications of WLTP at various speeds. Germany and Finland started from the get-go, in September this year. France will implement tax changes in September next year. In Belgium and Spain, it’s as late as January 2021. The amount in extra taxes, even for the same model, will vary strongly per country. “In essence, the mission for fleet managers is to shift their policies to achieve a better mix of vehicles”, Mr Lövsund concluded.