Automakers risk missing emissions dataSeptember 10, 2020
Every car will soon need a unique CO2 and MPG rating for its exact specification, which is causing big problems for manufacturers.
According to a report by industry consultant Jato Dynamics, automakers are “struggling” to publish CO2 and MPG data for all model variants to meet the January 1, 2021 deadline for the new WLTP fuel economy rules.
“This is not about the test itself or its compliance, but about massive data streams to inform customers and dealers about new CO2 and MPG emissions, and some automakers are struggling with this,” said Olivier Pejis, head of European sales at Yato … “There is also the problem of closing offices for three months during Covid, which shortens the time available to work on it.”
About 15 million new cars are sold in Europe every year, each with a unique part specification, and most of each model is subject to multiple specification changes during the purchase process, so the data is huge.
“The only source for these numbers is the OEM [original equipment manufacturer], so for each vehicle listed, the CO2 and MPG figures provided by the vehicle manufacturer are required. The demand for very accurate information is huge, ” – said Pagis.
The CO2 emissions of cars built also affect the average CO2 emissions for a manufacturer’s fleet. The target is around 95 g / km, depending on a number of factors, and is the basis for huge EU fines in case of limit violations.
The detailed specification of each new vehicle sold as of January 1, 2021 will relate to its unique CO2 and MPG performance that will remain with the vehicle over its lifetime and will determine the road and company vehicle tax levied on it.
“It’s very difficult and new to everyone, so it’s no surprise that some automakers are doing better than others,” – Pagis said.
One of the pitfalls of not being able to get the correct CO2 and MPG values is an unpleasant surprise for a buyer whose new car is performing worse than expected.
“This will cause all sorts of problems for private buyers, but especially for corporate fleets, which make a commitment to customers and investors with a corporate commitment to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Pagis.
This is a real opportunity due to changes in design or specifications between order and delivery – lead times can be over three months for a custom built vehicle. A small specification or minor engineering change – such as a different battery or tire brand, or a component redesign – can change the actual CO2 and MPG figures over that time.
Car buyers are also used to making changes to specifications at the last minute before the “build date”, but this may not be possible after the WLTP is introduced after January 1.
“Imagine that you have specified a car with a CO2 emissions of, say, 99g / km in the dealer’s configurator to meet a significant tax threshold, but due to a change in the production specification, the car actually comes at 102g / km, cost” – said Pagis.
Consumer lawyers may well find loopholes for subsequent legal action if a large number of buyers receive vehicles that differ from promised CO2 / MPG specifications. The industry can also end up with a large number of cars rejected due to a simple CO2 error of 1 g / km or 2 g / km.
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