NEDC and WLTP for Electric Vehicles

I’ve been shopping for an electric vehicle (EV), and encountered terms like NEDC and WLTP. These acronyms stand for testing procedures that estimate a vehicle’s range and efficiency. Here’s what they mean and why WLTP is the more reliable standard today.

What was NEDC?

The New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) was the older standard used until 2017. It included:

  • Urban (ECE-15) and extra-urban cycles.
  • Lower average speeds for testing.
  • A short total test time of around 20 minutes.
  • Few gear changes and mild acceleration/deceleration profiles.
  • Ideal temperature conditions (20-30°C) without considering real-world variations.
  • Ignored additional power-consuming features like AC or heated seats.

The Advancement to WLTP

The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) is a newer global standard introduced to give a more accurate measure of a car’s performance. The WLTP brings improvements such as:

  • Longer and more realistic driving cycles.
  • Higher average and maximum speeds.
  • Dynamic phases with various driving situations (urban, suburban, highway).
  • Realistic gear shifts.
  • Consideration for colder temperatures and how they affect performance.
  • Accounting for vehicle options that affect power consumption.
  • Testing at different load states.

Why WLTP Offers a Better Comparison

The transition to WLTP aims to ensure that the lab testing conditions more accurately reflect the on-road performance of vehicles. This means that when you look at a car’s specifications:

  • The range and efficiency figures are more in line with what you can expect in real-world driving conditions.
  • You can better compare vehicles since the data reflects the impact of optional extras and different driving styles.

In short, if you’re comparing EVs, WLTP figures are the ones to trust. They offer a more realistic picture of what your driving experience will entail, particularly in terms of range and energy consumption.