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

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

In 1992, the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) was introduced. Since then, this procedure has been used to determine the fuel consumption and emission values of vehicles.

By autumn 2018 a new driving cycle called WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure) will be introduced to replace the NEDC. This new laboratory test will also be supplemented by an emissions test that measures pollutants directly on the road: RDE (Real Driving Emissions).


From NEDC to WLTP.

Realistic consumption and emission values thanks to realistic test conditions. 
WLTP is a new legally binding test procedure for all car manufacturers to determine figures for exhaust emissions and fuel consumption. By approximating the test conditions to those of the real world, WLTP will deliver more practically relevant values. One of the changes is a significantly longer test duration (30 instead of 20 minutes) as well as redefined, significantly higher test speeds. 

To obtain a more precise determination of CO2 emissions, the new test procedure will include not only standard equipment options – as was previously the case – but also all special equipment options of a vehicle. This will produce within the communication two values for each type of vehicle: the lowest and highest possible standard consumption value according to the equipment options.


However, in the case of a specific vehicle configuration, the individual standard value can be indicated directly.

Thanks to WLTP, you will be able to better assess a vehicle’s consumption and CO2 emissions in the future. As these values will be measured more realistically than before, higher consumption and CO2 figures can be expected for vehicles with combustion engines. In the case of electric vehicles, the electric range will decrease.

BMW 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 enable complete WLTP conformity to be assured for the entire fleet of the BMW Group.

From September 2018, all automobile manufacturers throughout the EU, as well as in Switzerland and Turkey, will be legally obliged to only produce vehicles that have been tested in accordance with the WLTP procedure. The transition within the markets will depend on the respective national legislation. However, by December 2020, all countries that adopt the EU legislation for the approval of vehicles must indicate WLTP values for all vehicles.


WLTP Compared with NEDC.

Specific differences between the old and new test procedure: 

Test conditions NEDC WLTP
Test duration 20 minutes 30 minutes
Test distance 6.8 miles 14.6 miles
Time spent stationary 25% 13%
Test phases Urban, extra-urban, (combined) Low, medium, high, extra high, (combined); (plus “city” for electric vehicles and vehicles with plug-in hybrid drivetrain)
Speed Average: 21.1mph
Maximum: 74.6mph
Average: 29mph
Maximum: 81mph
Start temperature 20–30°C
Cold Engine Start
14°C (tested At 23°C Corrected For 14°C) Cold Engine Start
Special equipment options Not taken into consideration. All equipment options are considered in terms of their influence on aerodynamics, weight and rolling resistance.

Real Driving Emissions.

In addition to WLTP, RDE (Real Driving Emissions) will also be compulsory for all vehicle manufacturers 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, BMW employs various technologies for reducing exhaust emission in its models: measures include BluePerformance with SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) and particulate filters in diesel and petrol vehicles. In this way, BMW is able to comply with the low threshold limit values of the EU6c exhaust emissions standard, which is compulsory for all new vehicles from autumn 2018. The EU6c exhaust emissions standard prescribes lower limits for petrol-engine vehicles compared to EU6b. The same limits apply for diesel-engine vehicles within the cycle for both EU6b and EU6c.



Eu exhaust emissions standard: 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, thus confronting automobile manufacturers with new challenges.


September 2017 The step-by-step transition to wltp and rde will take place as of september 2017.
September 2018 All new vehicles will have to be certified in accordance with wltp and also comply with the limits for particulate number of the rde test procedure. This will ensure comparability of the co2 emissions and consumption values across all vehicles.
September 2019 All newly produced and registered vehicles will also have to comply with the nox rde limits under rde conditions.
September 2020 Countries that adopt the eu legislation for the approval of vehicles must issue wltp values for all vehicles.

Consumption And Emissions.

The BMW Group requires the new test procedures WLTP and RDE. For more information on the history and future of these procedures, please find a brochure for download below (PDF – 2.3mb). 


  • General Questions
  • What is WLTP?

    The abbreviation WLTP stands for “Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure”. This involves a new test procedure for a more realistic determination of fuel consumption and CO2 emission values of vehicles that will be legally binding for all vehicles as of September 2018. WLTP will replace step-by-step the previously applicable NEDC procedure. For more information, see

  • What is the WLTP driving cycle?

    A vehicle’s consumption and emissions depend on driving style. This is why driving data has been compiled for WLTP around the world. This data has been used to define 4 representative phases with different average speeds: low, medium, high and extra high. Within each of these phases, there are different intensities of acceleration, braking and stopping in order to depict situations with a relevance to everyday driving style. The combination of these phases then results in the driving cycle.

  • How is the BMW Group dealing with the new methods involved in WLTP?

    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 then ensure that all vehicles within the entire BMW fleet comply with the conditions of their respective legal framework at all times. As a matter of principle: vehicles of the BMW Group comply with the respective legal requirements. The relevant results from national and international official investigations confirm this.

  • What does WLTP mean for me?

    Introduction of WLTP will mean that the fuel consumption and CO2 values indicated will approximate those in real-world operation. Irrespective of this, taking into account individual special equipment in WLTP will additionally lead to more realistic values as they are based on your personal vehicle configuration. At the same time, however, more realistic values will also mean higher consumption and CO2 values for vehicles with combustion engines and a lower electric range for electric vehicles (including plug-in hybrids). Depending on national legislation, higher CO2 taxes may result. For more information, see

  • What is RDE?

    The abbreviation RDE stands for "Real Driving Emissions". This is a new procedure for determining pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter. The crucial feature is that measurement takes place on the road under realistic driving conditions and not in the laboratory. A device known as a Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS) is attached to the exhaust of the test vehicle for this purpose. For more information, see test/#

  • What is EU6?

    Euro 6 is the name of the current exhaust emission standard for pollutants. It defines lower maximum values for particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions than EU5. From September 2018*, the EU6c emission standard will become compulsory, and in comparison to EU6b it specifies even lower limits for the content of particulate matter in petrol-engine vehicles. The same threshold limit values apply for diesel-engine vehicles within the cycle for both EU6b and EU6c. EU6d-TEMP from September 2019* and EU6d from January 2021* will again slightly lower the threshold limit values for the number of particles and nitrogen oxides in line with RDE. *Applies to new vehicles. New vehicle types will each be subject to the new exhaust emission standards 1 year earlier.

  • What does selective catalytic reduction (SCR) mean?

    So that the exhaust emission values of a vehicle can be further reduced, liquid ammonia, called AdBlue®, is fed into diesel engines' exhaust system. Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) with AdBlue® reduces up to 90% of the nitrogen oxides. What remains is water vapour, nitrogen and CO2. What remains is water vapour, nitrogen and CO2.

  • What is BluePerformance?

    BMW uses BluePerformance technology to reduce the nitrogen oxide emissions of its vehicles even further. This technology allows the emissions performance of the diesel engine to be further optimised. In addition to the diesel particulate filter and NOx storage catalytic converter, in some models the SCR catalytic converter (SCR = Selective Catalytic Reduction) with AdBlue® injection guarantees a significant reduction in nitrogen oxides contained in the exhaust gases. Find out more about BMW BluePerformance at

  • What does WLTP mean for electric and hybrid vehicles?

    As electric and hybrid vehicles are used mainly in urban areas, WLTP provides, in addition to the four phases of low, medium, high and extra high, a separate 5th phase for them – namely the City Phase. This combines the speeds of the phases that best reflect the motoring situation in urban areas: low and medium. This enables more realistic indications of range to be given.