The improved EU standards for vehicle testing aim to better assess carbon emissions and fuel consumption
Mobility minister François Bausch is calling on car dealers to be transparent with consumers in light of the switch to improved EU standards to assess carbon emissions and fuel consumption. Here’s what Luxembourg consumers need to know.
François Bausch (Green party) on Tuesday outlined the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which began to come into force in 2017, and what it will mean for consumers in Luxembourg.
Why the new procedures?
The minister says the need for the new testing procedures boils down to two points: the need to reduce carbon emissions and to protect consumers.
The WLTP uses real-driving data that better matches actual on-road performance. It replaces the outdated New European Driving Cycle from the 1980s.
The data gleaned from the WLTP test can vary by up to 20% from that provided by the NEDC tests. The minister says that the new procedure will not only hold carmakers to a higher standard but also provide more transparency for consumers.
In what Bausch calls “a discrepancy [which is] getting worse”, 2018 Transport & Environment figures point to a growing gap between NEDC tests and real-driving emissions from new cars of up to 42% in recent years. That translates to a fuel consumption difference of 2.14 litres per 100km.
As part of their purchasing strategy, many consumers factor in not just the price of the car, but also fuel costs over the longer term. But, as Bausch explained, when applying the above variation to an economy car, the 2.1 litre/100km difference would amount to spending an additional €300 or more for every 13,000km driven (which is around the annual average distance driven by private vehicles in Europe). The report calculates that the extra money spent at the pump due to inefficient testing has cost motorists in Luxembourg an estimated €600m between 2000-17.
What do the changes mean for consumers?
Consumers hoping to purchase a car soon or even during the Auto Festival at the end of January should keep the new values in mind.
An information campaign is already underway, and, effective 15 December, information provided at car dealerships should display both the NEDC and WLTP data. As of 1 March 2020, only WLTP data will be made available to potential buyers. Bausch emphasised that “dealers have a responsibility” to be transparent with customers. “No one can say they didn’t know anything,” he added.
The formula for calculating vehicle tax will remain unchanged, Bausch says. The application of WLTP values will only apply for those vehicles which first circulate on the roads after 1 March 2020, whereas NEDC values will still be applied for those which hit the roads for the first time before that date. Changes will not be applied retroactively.
In-kind benefits will remain subject to the NEDC values for existing contracts or those signed before year-end 2019, whereas benefits for all vehicles registered as of 1 January 2020 will be calculated with the new WLTP values.