WLTP and its implications on lightweighting

Policy & Regulation

New and stricter emission norms putting more focus on lightweighting

Emissions testing and performance have always been an imperative part of vehicular performance as well as homologation. The need to control nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from cars is critical to control environmental pollution. Therefore, countries of the world have always put in a strict standard check on the allowable vehicular emissions, and there have been heavy financial and legal penalties for OEMs in case they fail to meet the standards in any country. To avoid confusion and minimize variation in standards, most countries either follow the global test procedure or have their standards derived from them, with a few extra riders or allowances. The emissions testing also directly affects fuel or energy consumption for light vehicles and hence serves as a direct proxy for controlling the fuel economy performance characteristics of any car. Needless to say, the testing procedure and standards affect the OEMs and their product lineups tremendously. Hence, they not only need to be compliant in the present but also plan their design development in a way such that their cars need to be ahead of the performance curve anytime in the future. Quite clearly, this invites a lot of dedicated research and investment from the OEMs and vendors alike. The Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) is the next level of global testing procedure for determining the level of vehicular emissions and other pollutants.

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