The lack of knowledge about the van Worldwide Light vehicle Testing Procedure “really is frightening”, according to James Davis, director of insight and strategy (CV), Cox Automotive.
And the implications for OEMs, bodybuilders and fleets are not yet known, he warned delegates at the Fleet200 meeting held at Company Car in Action.
WLTP was introduced for cars last year and lead to disruption in the company car market, with reduced vehicle availability and long lead times.
For light commercial vehicles, from September 1, 2018, all new model introductions were subject to WLTP type approval and real driving emissions (RDE) testing.
From September 1, 2019, all new sales of light commercial vehicles will have received type approval under WLTP and all new registrations will be subject to RDE testing.
“It really is frightening about how there is a lack of knowledge from OEM to bodybuilder to fleet,” says Davis (pictured).
“The theory is that all car-derived vans – because they are effectively a car with panels – were sorted last year with the cars, so it fell under the September 2018 deadline.
“Apparently, every new van which has been launched since September last year had to be WLTP tested, but are they? From September this year, all the panel/chassis cab derivatives have to be WLTP tested.
“So what immediately do I look at and think needs clarification? The one good thing is that there are not the same benefit-in-kind tax implications that there are for car user-choosers, and I don’t think it is going to cause the lead time issues that we saw in cars, so that’s good news.
“But there are a lot of unanswered questions.
"We know OEMs are dropping models, getting rid of those large engine, certain spec models.
“They are looking at putting equipment packs on and that’s not new, that’s something that’s been done for residual value purposes as much as anything in recent years.”
Davis said factory options will impact a vehicle kerbweight, which means CO2 emissions will be affected, but as vans are a tool to do a job, they need to be specced correctly.
He added: “And this is really interesting. You don’t test vans on payload, it’s drag coefficient. Clearly a Luton box body is going to have a different drag coefficient to a dropside, so how are these going to be tested?
“So it is really quite scary.”