Fuel Efficiency and Vehicle Emissions Testing

What is vehicle emissions testing?

Vehicle emissions testing involves putting an automobile through a series of stringent assessments to discover its fuel efficiency and the amount of greenhouse gases it produces under different conditions according to global emissions requirements and standards. Depending on the technology and applicable regulatory requirements like WLTP and RDE, the tests themselves can vary. The vehicle emissions evaluation usually includes testing of overall engine efficiency performance, effectiveness of catalytic converters, particle traps and other emissions control devices, and the system’s response to alternative fuels.

In recent years, there has been growing concern that results from on-road vehicle emissions testing in the ‘real world’ considerably differ from emissions test results conducted in the lab and that there are no universal standardised and harmonised emissions test procedures. Therefore, new emissions and fuel efficiency testing methods like RDE - real driving emissions test procedure and the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP) were introduces by the UN and EU to provide more transparent results.

Watch our video to learn more about WLTP and RDE and how TÜV SÜD ensures harmonised emissions testing procedures within the global laboratory network to deliver consistent test results across various countries.  

What is WLTP?

The Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), which is applicable across the EU as well as China, Japan, India, Korea and other countries, mandates the use of harmonised test procedures that can evaluate emissions and fuel efficiency in a consistently repeatable and reproducible manner. Specific assessments under the WLTP include exhaust gases concentrations, particulate mass and particulate number, CO2 emissions, fuel and electrical energy consumption and electrical operating range. Testing cycles are generally determined by vehicle class (Class 1, 2 or 3), which are defined by the vehicle’s power/weight ratio. The WLTP includes several changes from existing requirements under the EU’s New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) procedure.

What is RDE?

The European Union’s Real Driving Emissions (RDE) regulations require the use of a portable emissions measuring system (PEMS) attached to the vehicle to measure vehicle pollutant emissions under actual driving conditions. RDE test results are then correlated with emissions results obtained in the testing laboratory. Testing under the EU’s RDE is now required and, since 1 September 2017, type approval requirements also consider emissions levels identified during RDE testing. As of that date, vehicles that fail RDE testing cannot be placed on the market.

Why is fuel efficiency and vehicle emissions testing important?

Vehicle emissions testing offers vehicle manufacturers multiple benefits, such as:

  • Compliance/conformity with emissions regulations and standards to speed up your global market access, including:

  • Determining the best approach for emission reduction by identifying potential innovative technical solutions through early testing in the development process

  • Ensuring vehicle systems and parts perform in accordance with design specification by post-production testing

  • Providing complete Conformity of Production (CoP) documentation

  • Strengthen your brand reputation by reducing CO2 emission, tackle climate change and providing your customer with more environmentally friendly vehicles to boost sales    

TÜV SÜD supports you addressing the WLTP and RDE car emissions test compliance challenges

TÜV SÜD is one of the world’s leading vehicle testing and certification providers with accredited state-of-the-art testing laboratories near all major car producing hubs. Each testing facility is equipped to conduct all essential emissions and fuel consumption tests required for passenger and commercial vehicles and motorcycles in accordance with national regulations, international standards and industry requirements, including RDE and WLTP regulations.

Since the introduction of RDE and the WLTP test, TÜV SÜD has introduced a round robin’ programme to ensure that our multiple laboratories within our TÜV SÜD network, including in China, South Korea and Taiwan, generate consistent results in the different locations while testing the same vehicle according to WLTP and RDE regulations. With the results of the TÜV SÜD round robin tests, we can offer worldwide harmonised fuel efficiency and vehicle emissions testing procedures and ease market access for global manufacturers.

TÜV SÜD’s fuel efficiency and car emissions test services

Our TÜV SÜD fuel efficiency and vehicle emissions testing services include:

  • Real driving emissions (RDE) testing

Correlation tests using portable measuring equipment (PEMS) and real driving emission test procedures, consistent with the requirements of the EU’s RDE regulations to evaluate actual in-use performance.

Testing to assess emissions levels and fuel economy for light-duty vehicles and engines under various operating conditions in accordance with European Union requirements.

  • Worldwide harmonized light vehicles test procedures (WLTP)

Testing and certification of new vehicle types since 2017 for CO2 and exhaust emissions.

Testing in accordance with China’s national emissions regulations.

  • InMotion testing

This includes vehicle measurement on the road, route digitisation and validation of speed profile, and real-life driving simulation under reproducible conditions.

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) testing

Evaluates the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) from automobile engines.

  • Conformity of production (CoP) testing

Verifies emissions and fuel economy performance for use in CoP documentation.

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