Is RDE the new WLTP?

  14 April 2019

Last year’s introduction of WLTP emissions testing caught a few manufacturers and retailers off-guard. This year on 1 September there’s a new emissions test coming in called RDE that could cause some fresh havoc.

For those not familiar with RDE, it stands for Real Driving Emissions. It’s linked to WLTP in that it’s a real driving check on the official NOx emissions. From September newly registered cars will have to be within a conformity factor of 2.0 for NOx emissions against the WLTP stated number.

So again, cars will have to be tested, which could lead to delivery delays.

Some manufacturers I’ve spoken to have downplayed the possibility of WLTP-magnitude problems, but others have admitted they will drop non-compliant cars from their ranges at that point. Equally, some more switched-on retailers are highlighting the RDE introduction as a potential problem.

Unlike WLTP, though, there may not be a derogation period.

The only statement from government on the matter so far was in a report last year which stated: “It should not be assumed that derogations for the introduction of RDE NOx requirements will be allowed. Government expects manufacturers to bring forward production plans to comply with RDE NOx requirements as early as possible and to meet these new requirements without further derogations going forward.”

If this holds and there isn’t a derogation period, I can envisage a rush to sell, or at least register, an increased number of cars in August.

On its own, that’s probably fine. Retailers can handle changes like that and perhaps there will be an effort to pull people forward from September with tempting offers.

However, the other thing that’s finishes at the end of August is the WLTP derogation period for all the NEDC standard cars.

I’ve not heard if the disposal of these vehicles has gone well and to plan, but there were 179,425 NEDC cars that fell under this rule. If they haven’t been sold by 31 August, they’ll have to be registered and sold as used cars.

And if you think we’re out of the woods after that, don’t relax, RDE2 starts to come in to play in January 2020.

All this means there’s the potential for some very odd-looking registration totals in the months ahead. Don’t say you weren’t warned.


Tristan Young

Editorial director

Auto Retail Network

imageTags: Derogation, RDE, WLTP

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