Introduced in September 2017, the new antipollution norms and the WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures) measurement cycle of consumption and polluting discharges will be generalised from the 1stof September 2018. What are the consequences for the automobile market and more especially for professional fleets?  We explain it all! 

The main objective of this new test, which replaces the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) created in the 80s is to present to the public consumption values which correspond much more to a “real condition” use and then avoid any bad surprises on the long run! Of course, the protocol is standardised, differences are therefore still possible but the aim is to diminish the gaps for a better transparency.

In order to do so, driving conditions during the test are more dynamic (longer distance, higher average speed and four phases of different driving modes). The result is that consumption values should rise of 20% on average when compared to the NEDC results. According to the JATO consulting firm, CO2 emissions of new vehicles in Europe rose by 9.6 grams/kilometre. 

The WLTP test is itself a procedure set up within the scope of the Euro 6c norm, which sets the fine particle emissions at 6×1011 particles/km for gasoline direct injection engines. For diesel engines, vehicles will once more need to be accredited with the WLTP cycle.

Car manufacturers will need to be full of resources, both financial and material, to meet these new standards. Choices will have to be made for the production of some models, too polluting. Is it worth working on it so that it complies with the new emission value norms or is it simpler to stop the production of this model in particular? The re-accreditation duration of vehicles is also expected to be quite challenging. At this time, only 20% of the commercialised vehicles passed the WLTP test. There still is a long way to go!

What are the consequences on the fleets? 

A rise of the emission values means a rise of the taxation! Indeed, various requirements set up by European states in terms of pollutant are calculated in CO2. Since the numbers rise, many new vehicles will then be subject to a tax related to this greenhouse gas emission and to the famous ecological penalty. Today, it is impossible to put a number on these fiscal consequences: we will have to wait until early 2019 and the spread of the procedure to make a first assessment.

For fleet managers, the WLTP norm is a genuine preoccupation. According to the fleet barometer published early July by the OVE (Observatoire du Véhicule d’Entreprise– Company vehicle Observatory), no less than 47% of the French fleet managers surveyed (44% for European ones) expect a major impact of the WLTP on their fleets in the next three years. This figure rises up to 72% for companies of more than 250 employees, owning a more significant vehicle fleet. Nevertheless, only 17% of the surveyed answered that their car policy had already been impacted by these tests (33% for major companies). Alongside, 59% of the companies take into account the CO2 emissions in the planning of their car policy. 

How should we deal with these new standards? For the surveyed managers, the development of alternative energies in their fleets could represent a sustainable solution. 41% of the fleet managers surveyed consider to introduce or develop “clean” energies in their fleet in the next three years, with a preference for hybrid cars (30%) followed by electric vehicles (26%). Another initiative is the set up of mobility services such as car sharing, carpooling or mobility credit (43%).

Companies facing this new situation have multiple choices: either speed up the renewal of their fleets in order to comply with the new standards and avoid penalties or wait until the situation is clearer and extend their ongoing rental contracts. In other words, fleet management will be directly impacted by these new accreditation standards.

Read the CVO barometer

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