July 21, 2024

Inconsistencies in fuel usage and emissions information: fleet leasing

In the constantly changing landscape of automotive leasing, it is essential to understand the real-world performance of vehicles to make informed decisions. A recent analysis comparing WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure) values and OBFCM (On-Board Fuel Consumption Monitoring) data for various manufacturers has highlighted significant gaps in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

This disparity has significant implications for fleet management, cost efficiency, and environmental impact. The WLTP, overseen by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), standardizes vehicle testing procedures globally to measure fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars. On the other hand, the European Commission’s OBFCM regulation mandates that all new cars and small vans entering the EU market must have approved OBFCM devices to record fuel or energy consumption and total distance driven.

Source: STH Consulting, the European Environmental Agency.
Notes: The data is based on information from the EEA, focusing on vehicle brands and types with more than 100 vehicles to ensure reliability.

Fuel consumption discrepancies

An analysis of data from the European Environmental Agency (EEA), focusing on manufacturers predominantly producing Petrol/Electric vehicles, highlights significant discrepancies between WLTP values and OBFCM data, representing real-world fuel consumption. The findings reveal that OBFCM fuel consumption significantly exceeds WLTP values across all manufacturers.

For example, Skoda’s Petrol/Electric vehicles show an OBFCM fuel consumption of 5.04 l/100 km compared to a WLTP value of 1.13 l/100 km, indicating a significant gap. Similar trends are observed for Audi and BMW with percentage gaps of 333.06% and 327.54% respectively.

CO2 emissions impact

The discrepancies in fuel consumption directly translate to CO2 emissions, affecting environmental impact and compliance with regulatory standards. Skoda, Audi, and BMW show significant percentage gaps in CO2 emissions, reflecting the trends observed in fuel consumption discrepancies.

Implications for leasing

  1. Cost implications: Real-world fuel consumption data suggests potential higher fuel costs for lessees compared to WLTP values, impacting total cost of ownership calculations and requiring adjustments in leasing agreements.
  2. Environmental regulations: The CO2 emissions gap poses challenges in meeting environmental regulations, necessitating consideration of real-world emissions performance to ensure compliance and avoid penalties.
  3. Vehicle selection: Utilizing performance data can guide leasing companies and fleet managers in choosing more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles, potentially reducing overall fleet emissions.
  4. Customer transparency: Educating customers about discrepancies between WLTP values and actual fuel consumption can enhance transparency and improve customer satisfaction.

Next steps: model-level analysis

Further analysis at the model level is crucial to bridge the gap between laboratory and real-world data. Developing correction factors based on raw data will assist leasing companies and fleet managers in making more accurate forecasts and informed decisions.

Addressing the discrepancies between WLTP and OBFCM data is essential for managing costs, complying with regulations, and selecting sustainable vehicles in automotive leasing. Enhancing transparency and efficiency through comprehensive performance data will be key for the industry’s progression.

Petr Thiel is the Founder and CEO of STH Consulting


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In conclusion, the discrepancies between WLTP and OBFCM data underscore the importance of real-world performance metrics in automotive leasing. By addressing these gaps and leveraging accurate performance data, leasing companies can make more informed decisions, manage costs effectively, and contribute to sustainable vehicle choices.

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