Vauxhall/Opel has outlined details of its engineering initiative for more transparency, credibility and efficiency as announced last December.
As of this summer, the company will take the voluntarily next step to improve transparency and meet future emission protocols. Starting with the new Opel Astra from June 2016 onwards, and in addition to the official fuel consumption and CO2 information, Opel will publish fuel consumption numbers, reflecting different driving behavior recorded under the WLTP test cycle.
In addition, Opel will implement an initiative to improve NOx emissions on SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) diesel applications in new vehicles from August onwards. This is a voluntary and early intermediate step towards the so-called RDE (Real Driving Emissions) legislation that goes into effect in September 2017. Opel is offering to provide the regulatory authorities with the engine calibration strategies, which should serve as the basis for a proactive dialogue.
“We at Opel strongly believe that the industry has to regain trust by increasing the transparency with customers and authorities. Opel takes this step towards RDE to show it can be done”, said Opel Group CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. “We announced in December in which direction we are going; now we are delivering the details. I ask the European Union as well as the EU member states and other European countries to accelerate alignment on test set-ups and test interpretations on real-driving-measurements to stop the existing uncertainty caused by test results that are hardly comparable.”
Increase of Transparency on Consumption: Opel steps towards WLTP Test Cycle
From the end of June 2016, and in addition to the official fuel consumption and CO2 information of Opel models, fuel consumption numbers recorded under the WLTP test cycle will be published, starting with the new Opel Astra. These figures, which will show a fuel consumption range with a low and a high number, will first be offered for the model year 2016 Astra and published on a dedicated Opel micro-website, creating more transparency. Figures determined under the WLTP test cycle will be published for further models later this year.
According to EU plans, the “New European Driving Cycle” (NEDC) will be replaced starting in 2017 with the more modern standard “Worldwide Harmonized Light Duty Vehicles Test Procedure” (WLTP). The WLTP is important to maintain standardized, reproducible and comparable results.
Less emissions for Euro 6 diesel engines: Opel moves towards RDE
As indicated in December, Opel is also taking action related to NOx emissions to improve Euro 6 diesel SCR engines in the direction of future RDE. RDE is the real driving emissions standard which supplements current test methods and measures a car’s emissions directly on the road.
Dr. Neumann emphasized: “I strongly believe that diesel technology will only continue to play a major role in Europe if the industry sticks to the path of continuous improvement. That is one of the reasons why we decided to implement SCR-Technology to the entire diesel fleet starting as of 2018. With this we do not only talk about a strategy of regaining trust, we also talk about a strategy to preserve the advantage of Europe’s automotive industry in diesel technology.”
The start of the implementation for this Euro 6 SCR improvement in new vehicles is currently scheduled for August 2016. In addition, this activity also includes a voluntary customer satisfaction field action that will involve 57,000 Euro 6 SCR vehicles that are already on the road in Europe (Zafira Tourer, Insignia and Cascada). This activity will start in June 2016 already.