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Conference on vehicle fuel consumption test technologies

On 18 October the ECCT co-hosted the "2016 international conference on vehicle fuel consumption test technologies" together with the Bureau of Energy (BoE) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). The full-day conference featured technical presentations and discussions on the latest developments in Europe and Taiwan regarding the testing of vehicles for fuel consumption. In particular, speakers gave updates on Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) and the Real Driving Emission (RDE) standards and practices. Opening remarks were made by guests of honour representing the organisers while presentations were made by technical experts from Europe and Taiwan.


The guests of honour were: Chen Ling-hui, Deputy Director-General, BoE; Tsai Sheng-feng, Deputy Director-General, ITRI; Viktoria Lövenberg, Deputy Head, European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) and Freddie Höglund, CEO, ECCT.

The speakers were Paul Greening, Emissions and Fuels Director for the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA); Pascal Mast, Vice President, Environment and Emissions at TÜV SÜD and Liu Chin-yuan, Deputy Manager at ITRI. The final panel discussion, featuring all of the speakers, was moderated by Dr Lin Hai-peng, Professor at Dayeh University.

Opening remarks
In her opening remarks BoE deputy director-general Chen Ling-hui said that the conference was a very important exchange that will assist the authorities in Taiwan in its goal to reduce emissions in line with the government's targets. She noted that Taiwan authorities had been diligent since 2011 in revising regulations in this regard and would continue to study the latest European regulations and standards when setting Taiwan's standards.

In her remarks EETO deputy head Viktoria Lövenberg noted that the EU has been a leader in fighting climate change and promoting the circular economy. These efforts are aimed not only at protecting the environment but also boosting the economy and creating jobs. As the transport sector is responsible for a large portion of greenhouse gases, the EU has adopted an integrated strategy to reduce the environmental impact of the sector through optimising current systems, scaling up green technology and promoting low emission vehicles. WLTP and RDE are the first steps in the process to measure actual emissions in real conditions so that further improvements can be made.

In his remarks, Tsai Sheng-feng, Deputy Director-General of ITRI, said that ITRI has been conducting research on fuel economy for 30 years – when it established its first fuel economy laboratory. Facilities have been upgraded several times since then in line with technological developments and stricter regulations. ITRI now provides many kinds of services for the vehicle industry.

In his remarks Freddie Höglund made the point that the Paris agreement will lead to ever stricter mandatory emissions reductions across all industry sectors globally. Car makers have already been making continuous and steady improvements in fuel efficiency for decades and the trend continues but there is always a difference between tests performed in controlled conditions and what actually happens on roads. That is why the European Commission has been working since 2011 to develop testing procedures to measure emissions of vehicles in real life conditions. By sharing their expertise and experience he said that he hoped that the conference would assist authorities in the Bureau of Energy and the EPA to adopt solutions that have been developed over many years in Europe and put in place the most advanced and internationally-aligned standards.

Session 1

Topic: Regulations development relating to CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of motor vehicles in Europe - Part I (RDE & WLTP)
Speaker: Dr Paul Greening, Director, Emissions & Fuels, ACEA
The Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP) define a global harmonized standard for determining the levels of pollutants and CO2 emissions, fuel or energy consumption, and electric range from light-duty vehicles (passenger cars and light commercial vans). The motivation for the development of WLTP was to update the outdated New European Driving Cycle (NEDC, which was last updated in 1997) and to move to a globally usable test cycle for vehicle pollutants and CO2 emissions. The process was steered from Geneva, where all the main stakeholders have a presence. It was agreed that the test cycle should be representative of all conditions.

WLTP differs from NEDC in the way the vehicle test is set up and run. Since the WLTP is much more complicated than NEDC, it will require an upgrading of testing facilities. WLTP takes into account optional equipment such as customized features (which affect the weight and performance of the vehicle). It considers individual shift points instead of fixed gear shift points and monitors quality even within driving tolerance, which will give very different results from NEDC.

All optional equipment is taken into account when working out CO2 values, such as the type of rims and tyres, which will have an impact, especially on weight. The new cycle will help customers to know how various factors affect performance. It will also be useful for authorities to determine how vehicles are licenced and taxed based on their actual emissions. Greening pointed out that no test is perfect and it is impossible to account for every variation as a result of environmental conditions or the build of the vehicles.

WLTP has a pre-defined lab temperature setting of 23˚ C but has introduced an additional ambient temperature correction test to obtain data for a "realistic European temperature" (14˚ C).

The 2020 fleet CO2 target has been set in legislation at 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer. This is based on NEDC. A correlation meta model, known as CO2MPAS will be used in the base year to calculate an NEDC CO2 value from a WLTP CO2 test result. This is a new software tool (or model) based on open source software that allows complete details to be fed in to calculate outcomes.

WLTP will require a lot more testing for manufacturers. There will be a transition period between NEDC and WLTP and an allowance to account for the difference between old and new vehicles.

In terms of legislation, the WLTP regulation was agreed on 14 June 2016 but it will still be subject to review by the European Parliament starting in December 2016. In addition, the Climate Change Committee in DG Clima has proposed CO2 correlation targets. It is expected that the commission will adopt WLTP and CO2 changes as one package in March or April 2017, which would become effective starting from September 2017. This does not give the industry much time to adapt. There would be exceptions for existing stock but there will be no change to the 95 gram target. By September 2018 all new cars will only have WLTP results.

According to statistics of falling emissions cited by Greening, EU air quality controls appear to be working, given steady declines in both NOx (nitric oxide, NO, and nitrogen dioxide, NO2) and particle matter (PM) emissions. This has been brought about by the wide availability of zero-sulphur fuels and filters for diesel vehicles, which work very well. According to Greening, the quality of new diesel exhaust is much better than before. All have zero particle emissions because of good filters. This implies that most NOx and PM emissions are coming from industry, not vehicles.

It is clear that running a car on the road is different from running in a lab. That is why the commission developed portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS) and created test conditions for PEMs applications. There have been advances made in PEMs systems in recent years to make them smaller, lighter and easier to use.

The first RDE package was agreed in May last year and published in March this year. The second package contains conformity factors and boundary conditions. It was agreed in October 2015 and became effective in May 2016. Package 3 in now in the process of being formulated. It will include the measurement of emissions from a cold start. A decision is foreseen in December 2016. The subsequent fourth package will cover RDE in service conformity.

There are several problems to consider in the new regime. For example, what constitutes normal driving? The RDE sets standards for road inclines, load settings, temperature, and the level of acceleration rates in moderate conditions, which covers about 92% of all conditions. It also adds "extended conditions", such as driving in high altitudes and urban driving conditions.

PEMS are fitted to the back of cars, which are tested in labs and on the road to determine if vehicles are within the conformity factor.

Even if a car is performing below or close to the limit, PEMS may lead to significantly different results given a lack of standardization of PEMS equipment. (There is not yet a certification system for PEMS system). Moreover, today the first 300 seconds are excluded. Including cold start emissions in the total trip will increase the emissions. Greening expressed the view that the new requirements will push some vehicles out of the market, especially small diesel vehicles.

So far there is no satisfactory solution for measuring hybrid vehicles. Another factor affecting performance is fuel quality. For example, aromatics and the way fuel is blended can have a significant impact on engines and emissions. The motivation for the World Wide Fuel Charter is to encourage better fuel quality to address the issue.

Topic: Regulations development relating to CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of motor vehicles in Europe - Part II (Post 2020 CO2 & "Diesel gate")
Speaker: Dr Paul Greening, Director, Emissions & Fuels, ACEA
The EU's automobile industry has already made great progress in improving fuel efficiency by using lighter materials to reduce the weight of vehicles, hybrid technology, variable valve timing, downsizing, turbo-charging, stop-start systems and direct injection. The industry is spending €44 billion per year on R&D to make further improvements.

The EU has most challenging CO2 targets for cars in the world, By 2021 CO2 emissions from new cars will be 42% lower than those of new cars in 2005 and targets for 2030 are even more aggressive. In 2015 the average new car emitted 119.6 grams of CO2 per kilometre, a 36% decrease in just two decades in conjunction with decreases in pollutants such as NOx and PM. Passenger cars and vans account for 13% of GHG emissions in the EU while energy supply accounts for 30%, industry 19% and buildings 13%.

Under the 2030 climate and energy package, EU regulators have ambitious targets but manufacturers are asking for a "whole society approach" that looks at all factors influencing emissions during the use of the vehicle instead of just vehicle technology, where future engineering improvements have limits. The way vehicles are used is important.

Reducing CO2 more effectively requires drawing on a full spectrum of solutions: How drivers behave, fuel options (better fuels), Intelligent Transport System (ITS) solutions, fleet renewal and improved infrastructure. For instance there is no point in increasing the use of electric vehicles if it is not convenient to recharge them. All of these measures can help to reduce the environmental footprint of vehicles. A comprehensive approach is needed.

Fleet renewal is a very simple and effective strategy. New vehicles currently only make up 5% of Europe's car fleet. The average age of cars is close to 10 years and rising annually. Even Sweden has an average vehicle age of 13-14 years. Without fleet renewal engineering advances won't work. The industry needs to recover its investments. A recent TML study showed that fleet renewal could reduce emissions by 37% and to spur this all that is required are incentives, either financial subsidies or punitive measures such as traffic restrictions.

ITS and connected car technology are instrumental in empowering drivers to make optimal decisions with regard to driving such as providing real time information on the best route, where to park, or even take alterative transport. Eco-based navigation has the potential to reduce emissions by 5-20% while eco-driving systems can reduce emissions by 5-20%.

Roads that are not well maintained and conducting road works in an uncoordinated manner disturb traffic flow. Improving the surface of roads, for example, improves rolling resistance performance while coordinating the timing of road works could reduce disruptions and traffic jams.

Another major issue is the way drivers drive. For example pre-planning for braking, driving at a constant speed, turning off the engine while stationary, planning trips to avoid congestion and keeping cars well maintained all help to reduce emissions. Up to 15% savings are possible by changing driver behaviour. While WLTP and RDE will make testing results more realistic, they do not account for driver behaviour, which can radically skew results. Greening cites real life results of tests done by members of parliament, where different MPs drover the same car over the same 10 kilometre route but nevertheless produced radically different CO2 emissions ranging from 145-205 grams/km.

Alternative power trains should all be considered to reduce emissions. Besides full battery electric, compressed natural gas, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cells are all being looked at.

While more than 500,000 alternative fuel cars were registered in the EU in 2015 (up 20% year-on-year), they still represent only 4.2% of total passenger car registrations. There is still an issue of market acceptance to overcome. Doing so will require more education and government support, especially in infrastructure. Advanced biodiesel also has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 15% by 2030.

Authorities also need to consider the relative costs of reducing carbon emissions across industries and balance the demands required of each sector. For example car makers need to reduce emissions by 39% from 2005 levels by 2020 but buildings, agriculture and waste sectors have only been required to reduce emissions by 10%. This seems like an uneven burden for the automotive industry when considering for example, that great reductions in emissions could be realized by reducing meat consumption, changing agricultural practices and upgrading buildings.

The automotive sector contributes 6.3% of the EU's GDP but is already subject to more than 80 directives or regulations. To meet the 95 gram target is expected to cost €1000-2000 per vehicle or €13 billion on a fleet-wide basis but car prices are only rising in line with inflation. From being the most profitable industry in 2007, the sector made aggregated losses of €1 billion in 2012 and is only now beginning to recover. Greening made the point that it is not reasonable for the industry's obligations to be disproportionate to other sectors.

In response to the so-called "Diesel gate" scandal, stakeholders started a joint initiative, the Clean Diesel Communication on 1 September to promote diesel fuel and vehicles as clean and environmentally-advanced engines given their lower use of fuel and lower CO2 emissions, which will help the EU to meet its carbon reduction targets. They are also the only current viable solution for heavy duty trucks and other service vehicles.

Diesel gate served to accelerate the RDE process, which has led to a lot of errors in the process, which will have to be addressed. The consequent increase in requirements and mandatory testing has had and will have a big impact on costs in future.

Greening concluded that RDE and WLTP are good developments, which will help to restore confidence in the industry and that diesel remains an important way to reduce emissions.

Session II

Topic: WLTP Domestic testing experience in Taiwan sharing
Speaker: Liu Jin-yuan, Deputy Manager, ITRI
The speaker gave an update on the regulatory situation in Europe based on UNECE and European regulations. He noted that Taiwan authorities are still studying WLTP. He went into detail about the difference between NEDC and WLTP testing facility set-ups and gave specific details of what equipment and tests will be needed for WLTP and the process of testing vehicles including temperature and the duration of various tests.

Topic: WLTP technology development in Europe
Speaker: Pascal Mast, Vice President, Environment and Emissions, TÜV SÜD
Real driving depends on the environment (Europe is very different from other countries) and driver behaviour. While automakers are baulking at the costs and administrative work involved in implementing WLTP, the public is clearly in favour of rolling out the system fast. TÜV SÜD is in the process of upgrading both software and hardware to adapt to WLTP, including labs and PEMS systems. It is also using the CO2MPAS tool.

WLTP provides a more realistic picture of emissions because cars are driven faster and longer. Preliminary results show that the condition (maintenance of a vehicle) is another important factor. Even when driving fast, if the car is in good condition, it will still produce good results. The way the driver drives also has a big impact on the results. Temperature changes, which occur even during the tests, also make a difference.

According to Mast, CO2MPAS needs a lot of data input. He noted that because the system is open source, it is still not secure and you can't be sure that calculations are standard and accurate if different versions of the software are used. Just small changes in input could result in large differences in results.

He concluded that WLTP will lead to higher workloads for everyone. The main difference between WLTP and NEDC is not the driving cycle but boundary conditions. CO2MPAS is a good initiative but inputs have to be very precise while, at some point, there has to be only one standard version to make sure everyone uses the same system and the results of tests conducted by different vendors can be compared.

Topic: Real-Driving Emission (RDE) technology developments in Europe
Speaker: Pascal Mast, Vice President, Environment and Emissions, TÜV SÜD
While the idea of RDE preceded Diesel gate and the industry wanted to postpone RDE implementation, Diesel gate sped up the process.

RDE provides much better results, which will be beneficial for consumers when choosing which car to purchase. RDE tests are done during daytime traffic, urban, rural and motorway driving. The duration of each trip ranges from 90-120 minutes. Speeds range from 130-160 km/h. Outside temperature conditions range from -7-35˚ C. Cars have realistic loads while air conditioning and auxiliary systems are activated during the test.

RDE test drives are conducted by splitting driving routes into one third urban driving, one third rural driving and one third motorway driving. Routes are varied to include hills and curves, to follow speed limits, take account of traffic as well as high speed driving on motorways (the autobahn in Germany). New PEMS portable emission measurement systems are used, which are small enough to fit on motorcycles. They are fitted with their own batteries so that they do not need to draw power from the vehicle, which would otherwise influence the test results.

The real challenge is traffic conditions, which are never identical and therefore have varying influence on results. This problem can be solved by using an online system to evaluate and "correct" conditions and adjust results accordingly and then compare them for conformity.

Mast showed some real test results, which demonstrated how different they can be depending on, for example, whether the driver was in high or low gear. Given all the variables, including traffic, temperature and differences in PEMS devices, results will never be exactly the same.