UNECE endorses stringent new vehicle emissions regulation; towards a single type approval for major markets
UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) will make it easier for countries around the world to implement state-of-the-art emissions test procedures with a new UN Regulation featuring the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP).
The draft UN Regulation was endorsed on 17 January by the Working Party on Pollution and Energy (GRPE). It will now be submitted to the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulation (WP.29) for adoption at its next meeting in June 2020, and entry into force in January 2021.
Once in force, the majority of cars sold worldwide will comply with some of the most stringent emissions requirements in the world.
Vehicle manufacturers will then be able to acquire a single approval for all major markets adopting this regulation—the 53 countries that are signatories to the 1958 Agreement as well as other countries which unilaterally adopt UN Regulations.
The draft UN Regulation builds on the Global Technical Regulation for WLTP adopted by the World Forum in 2015, adding administrative provisions, conformity of production, durability and pollutant emission limits.
Vehicles approved for mutual recognition under the 1958 Agreement will need to meet stringent emission limits for hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM).
This will ensure that emissions remain under the set limits whether the vehicle is driven in urban (Low phase), rural (Medium and High phases) or highway (Extra high phase) environments.
The new UN Regulation will also include stringent procedures to ensure that mass-produced vehicles maintain the same environmental performance. Furthermore, a specific accelerated ageing test will be introduced to guarantee that new vehicles’ pollution control devices remain fully effective up to 160,000 km (99,419 miles).
GRPE is actively working to complement this new UN Regulation on WLTP with a globally-agreed Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test. This will introduce procedures to test vehicles in real life conditions on public roads, to demonstrate real world compliance in addition to the WLTP test performed in controlled conditions in laboratories.
UN GTR No.15 on WLTP adopted in 2015 has now been transposed into a new UN Regulation annexed to the 1958 Agreement. United Nations Global Technical Regulations (UN GTRs) contain globally harmonized performance-related requirements and test procedures. They provide a predictable regulatory framework for the global automotive industry and consumer associations.
UN GTRs do not contain administrative provisions for type approvals and their mutual recognition. UN GTRs are therefore not directly applicable in countries Parties to the 1998 Agreement and require transposition into national legislation.
UN Regulations under the 1958 Agreement do contain administrative provisions for type approvals and their mutual recognition amongst all contracting Parties.
The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, hosted by UNECE, is a unique global platform responsible for the regulatory frameworks regarding the safety and environmental performance of vehicles, their subsystems and parts.
The World Forum manages three Global Agreements on vehicles: 1958 Agreement (UN Regulations); 1998 Agreement (UN Global Technical Regulations); and 1997 Agreement (UN Rules on Periodic Technical Inspections). Any country that is member of the United Nations may participate in the activities of the World Forum and accede to the Agreements.
The Working Party on Pollution and Energy (GRPE) is one of the six subsidiary bodies of the World Forum. It concentrates its work on defining environmental, energy efficiency and power measurement procedures for all modes of inland transport in order to limit environmental damage. GRPE is in charge of the development of the UN Regulation on WLTP.