Change in the statutory test methods for consumption, emissions and pollutants.

In 1992, the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC for short) was introduced. Since then, this procedure has been used to determine the fuel consumption and emission values of vehicles. However, the conditions of this laboratory test are disadvantageous in determining realistic consumption and emission values.

From September 2018, therefore a new driving cycle called WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure) is to replace the NEDC.

This laboratory test will also be supplemented by an emissions test that measures pollutants directly on the road: RDE (Real Driving Emissions).

The new test procedures will enable consumers to better estimate their vehicle’s fuel consumption and emissions in the future.

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More everyday relevance. Less ambiguity.Change in the statutory test methods for consumption, emissions and pollutants.


More realistic consumption and emission values thanks to more realistic test conditions.

The new testing procedure of WLTP is based on an approximation of the test conditions to real-world circumstances, which means that the values determined will also have a greater relevance to reality. Among the changes this involves are redefined, significantly stricter test conditions and higher speeds together with a substantially longer test duration (30 instead of 20 minutes).


To obtain a more precise determination of CO2 emissions, the new test procedure includes not only standard equipment – as was previously the case – but also all special equipment options of a vehicle. This produces two values for each type of vehicle: the lowest and highest possible standard consumption value according to aerodynamics, weight and rolling resistance. Thanks to WLTP, you will be able to better assess a vehicle’s consumption and CO2 emissions in the future. In the case of a specific vehicle configuration, the individual standard value will be indicated directly. In spite of the great accuracy, deviations are of course also possible with this test procedure. Everyday consumption and CO2 emissions continue to be subject to the different conditions of topography, climate and personal driving technique. The traffic situation, the current load carried and the use of devices such as the air conditioning system are further influences on the consumption of a vehicle. One thing is clear: the test conditions are more than realistic than before, which means that higher fuel consumption and CO2 values as well as lower ranges for electric vehicles can be expected on paper. However, this will not have any adverse effect on the real fuel consumption or range. Furthermore, the BMW Group is always working on new technologies in order to improve consumption and range.


The BMW Group is already working on the transition to the new test procedure and is preparing its product portfolio step by step with new vehicles, new engine versions or technical revisions. This will ensure that all vehicles within the entire fleet of the BMW Group comply with the applicable legislative framework at all times.


From September 2017, the WLTP will be compulsory for new type approvals. However, the legislator specifies that the values measured with WLTP will initially be communicated with a calculation translating it back to NEDC values. The EU Commission has developed a correlation technique for this purpose, which will be binding to an equal extent on all vehicle manufacturers. This phase is intended to simplify the transition. Its duration will depend on the respective national legislation and will thus vary from market to market.


From September 2018, all manufactureers will be obliged to test in accordance with WLTP for vehicles sold in the EU as well as in Switzerland, Turkey, Norway, Liechtenstein, Israel and Ireland.


Finally, by December 2020, all countries that adopt the EU legislation for vehicle registration will have to indicate and communicate WLTP values for all vehicles.

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The new test will ensure that lab measurements better reflect the on-road performance of a car.
European Automobile Manufacturers Association


These are the specific differences between the old and new test procedure.

Test procedure


Restriction of pollutant values on the road.

In addition to WLTP, RDE (Real Driving Emissions) will also be compulsory for all vehicle manufacturers in the EU as well as in Switzerland, Turkey, Norway, Liechtenstein, Israel and Ireland from September 2018. In these RDE tests, the pollutant emissions such as particulate matter and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are measured directly on the road. This method determines average emission values that can be expected during everyday driving.


In order to further reduce these pollutant values, the BMW Group employs various technologies for reducing exhaust emission in its models.

The BMW BluePerformance measures, for example, reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides in diesel engines. The BMW Group is using devices known as nitrogen oxide (NOx) storage catalytic convertors in order to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. In addition, and depending on the model, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) with AdBlue® – a urea solution – converts up to 90% of the nitrogen oxides into water vapour and similarly harmless nitrogen.


The BMW Group was the first manufacturer to introduce the combination of NOx storage catalytic converter and SCR system into series production.


Since 2006, diesel vehicles have additionally been equipped with particulate filters as standard in order to reduce particulate matter. In petrol-engine models, too, special particulate filters are gradually being introduced.


In this way, the BMW Group is able to comply with the low threshold limit values of the EU6c exhaust emissions standard, which is compulsory for all new vehicles as from September 2018. The EU6c exhaust emissions standard prescribes lower particulate limits for petrol-engine vehicles compared to EU6b. The same limits apply for diesel-engine vehicles within the cycle for both EU6b and EU6c.

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Falling values. Increasing challenge.

The EU exhaust emissions standard defines the valid limits for exhaust emissions such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter within the EU. The limits vary according to engine and type of vehicle. For the benefit of climate protection and air quality, the limits undergo increasing intensification. This confronts automobile manufacturers with new challenges.


Learn more about the new pollutant testing prodecure.

Animation about intelligent BMW technologies and fuel-saving measures.


Even more efficient on the road – with intelligent BMW technologies and fuel-saving measures.


Your questions. Our answers.

  • What is WLTP?
  • What is the WLTP driving cycle?
  • How is the BMW Group dealing with the new methods involved in WLTP?
  • What does WLTP mean for me?
  • What is RDE?
  • What is EU6?
  • What does selective catalytic reduction (SCR) mean?
  • What is BluePerformance?
  • What is a particle filter?
  • What does WLTP mean for electric and hybrid vehicles?