Dieselgate and WLTP: motorist to pay the bill
The dieselgate scandal, which in itself pushed politicians to renew emission tests and create the new WLTP, will have repercussions on drivers and the taxes they’re paying.
From September 1st, all models of cars sold new in the European union will have to pass the WLTP test. After the dieselgate scandal, the government realized that it was too easy for car manufacturers to fool the out-dated NEDC test, dating from the seventies. The EU therefore introduced the Worldwide Lights vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) to strengthen emission rules. Official CO2 emissions are said to go up by about 20% compared to NEDC results.
New rule, new complexity
This new emission rule disrupts the automotive industry with some car manufacturers unable to adapt their complete range on time. “This operation is considerably complex. We have to shift through thousands of combinations and take a close look to the CO2 results”, explains Thierry Lespiaucq, Chairman of the Board of Volkswagen France. “Above 140 g of CO2 per km, the car is highly sanctioned.” Facing these long procedures, Volkswagen had to stock more than 200.000 cars on the unfinished Brandenburg airport.
For its part, Daimler is citing the introduction of WLTP for new models last September to justify parts of its profit losses. The sky will not go clearer for the car sector with the 2021 EU norms. On that date, manufactures will have to average 95 g CO2/km on their range. Failing that will result in a 95 euro fine per car and extra gram.
Until then, the introduction of the WLTP norm might very well change the buyer’s behaviour. The huge SUV success could be affected by stricter CO2 norms because these vehicles tend to consume more fuel. We could see an upturn for estate and saloon cars.
Diesel could also see a new light, contrary to what it has been experiencing in the last year. Indeed, a diesel engine still produces less CO2 than a petrol engine. Until September 1st, the car market could also experience a rise with buyers purchasing cars before having to pay more CO2 taxes.