With the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure on vehicle CO2 emissions coming soon, businesses are being urged to get to grips with what it means for them and their fleet drivers.

Many businesses rely on their vehicles as key assets that support their core business operations and a new white paper from Venson Automotive Solutions highlights the need to understand the impact of the new emissions targets sooner rather than later. 

WLTP is the replacement for the long-established New European Driving Cycle vehicle testing procedure.  The changes will test cars and light vans in more ‘real-world’ style conditions.  This means CO2 emissions are rising and MPG reducing on some models, compared to the current figures quoted under the NEDC test process. 

In April 2020, the Government will introduce a tax monitoring system based on WLTP CO2 values.  This will see a transition period with manufacturers publishing figures obtained under WLTP testing, but converted back to a comparable NEDC value, known as an NEDC-correlated figure.  As a result, these figures will be higher than under the previous NEDC test cycle, which means motorists will have to play higher vehicle-related tax.  Additionally, vehicle list prices could rise as manufacturers introduce technological improvements to counter any rise in CO2 emissions and reductions in MPG. 

Manufacturers are already taking action to manage the negative impact of CO2 emissions, including the move towards WLTP.  This may see the withdrawal of specific engines or options and re-engineering some vehicles to improve emissions, which in turn could slow down production and make it difficult for some manufacturers to meet orders. 

“What is absolutely certain,” Danielle Tilley, Venson’s Business Development Director, said, “is that if vehicle CO2 figures have not been influential in the compilation of company car policies to date, they are fast becoming critical.  Meanwhile, not only is CO2 data vital, but those ‘must have’ optional extras beloved of many company car drivers may be confined to the dustbin come April 2020.  That’s because, for the first time, options will be included in the CO2 /MPG testing process. 

“WLTP is here and organisations must understand its impact on company car policies and fleet choice.  They also need to understand the timeline for the implementation of WLTP and the related Real Driving Emissions test, as well as getting to grips with how both WLTP and RDE impacts on all aspects of vehicle-related taxation between 2018 and 2020.

“Businesses need to make sure they are prepared for further change once the Government announces the shape of all vehicle-related taxation from April 2020.”

Added: 04 September 2018

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