A quick introduction to how the WLTP affects your refrigerated vans

If you’ve recently specified a new fridge van or freezer van for your fleet, there’s a good chance you’re already at least passingly familiar with the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (commonly abbreviated to the WLTP). Since we’re in the last few months until the final stage of its implementation, we thought it would be a great time to explain exactly how it affects your refrigerated vehicles, and the benefits you can expect as a result.

What is the WLTP?

In a nutshell, it’s a relatively new laboratory test for cars and vans, carried out on each vehicle before it goes on sale to the general public. It’s basically a consumption and emissions test that’s specifically designed to provide a greater transparency around real-world fuel consumption. It replaces the previous lab test, the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). The NEDC was developed and rolled out in the 1980s, and there have been significant developments in automotive technology since then, rendering it increasingly irrelevant. Part of the reason it’s so outdated is that it’s based on a theoretical driving profile, which is what WLTP is intended to deal with.

The WTLP essentially benefits customers because it gives them access to a more realistic, comparative benchmark for consumption and emissions figures of different vehicle models. These figures will often be higher, but that’s specifically because they’re based on a real-world driving profile rather than a theoretical one, which will ultimately make them far more accurate. This means you get a better idea of the kind of fuel economy you’ll actually achieve.

Amongst the new measures that the WLTP introduces are:

  • More realistic driving behaviour
  • Higher average and maximum speeds
  • Features a wider range of driving scenarios
  • Longer test distances
  • Stricter set up and measurement conditions
  • Optional equipment and payload, different engines, transmissions and wheel sizes

A brief timeline of WLTP implementation

From September 2017

At this stage, cars and vans approved using NEDC can still be sold. However, all new types of cars that are due for initial certification are tested as per the WLTP. The industry has already begun moving towards WLTP-based results for general consumer information, such as sales brochures and websites.

From September 2018

From now on, all new cars must be certified using the WLTP test, and not NEDC. This also now applies to all new car registrations and sales of models that are already well established by leading manufacturers like Ford and Mercedes. Meanwhile, all new Light Commercial vehicle model introductions are now subject to WLTP type approval, and Real Driving Emissions (RDE) testing.

From September 2019

At the time of writing, we’re now in the run up to the final stage of implementation. From September onwards, EU measures for end-of-series cars will allow manufacturers to sell a limited number of NEDC-approved vehicles that they might still have in stock. After this limit is up, the NEDC becomes irrelevant, entirely replaced by the WLTP. Meanwhile, all new sales of Light Commercial vehicles will receive type approval under WLTP, and all new registrations will be subject to RDE testing.

As we’ve touched on above, the final stage of the WLTP is great news for sole traders and fleet managers alike, as it enables them to make ever more accurate estimations of the actual fuel consumption of their freezer vans and refrigerated vans. What’s more, we’ve got a fantastic range of them in stock right here at CoolKit, with models from leading manufacturers such as Renault and Peugeot. Our customers can also opt for our fridge van conversions, which cover all makes, models and variants of commercial panel vans. Feel free to click the links to find out more, or give our friendly sales team a call on 0808 163 9446!

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