EU Science Hub

Development of the World-wide harmonized Light duty Test Cycle (WLTC) and a possible pathway for its introduction in the European legislation

This paper presents the World-wide harmonized Light duty Test Cycle (WLTC), developed under the Working Party on Pollution and Energy (GRPE) and sponsored by the European Union (with Switzerland) and Japan. India, Korea and USA have also actively contributed. The objective was to design the harmonized driving cycle from "real world" driving data in different regions around the world, combined with suitable weighting factors. To this aim, driving data and traffic statistics of light duty vehicles use were collected and analyzed as basic elements to develop the harmonized cycle. The regional driving data and weighting factors were then combined in order to develop a unified database representing the worldwide light duty vehicle driving behavior. From the unified database, short trips were selected and combined to develop a driving cycle as representative as possible of the unified database. Approximately 765,000 km of data were collected, covering a wide range of vehicle categories, road types and driving conditions. The resulting WLTC is an ensemble of three driving cycles adapted to three vehicle categories with different power-to-mass ratio (PMR). It has been designed as a harmonized cycle for the certification of light duty vehicles around the world and, together with the new harmonized test procedures (WLTP), will serve to check the compliance of vehicle pollutant emissions with respect to the applicable emissions limits and to establish the reference vehicle fuel consumption and CO2 performance.