VCA approval for real driving emissions test process

Portable Emissions Measurement System PEMS kit in vehicles

Testing process for vehicle emissions and mixed real driving route gains approval from the Vehicle Certification Agency.

Engine development and consultancy company, MAHLE Powertrain, is the first independent engineering service provider (ESP) to have its real driving emissions (RDE) test process and routes approved by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).

MAHLE’s approval comes well in advance of the adoption of RDE across Europe in 2017, when portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS) will become mandatory for the emissions testing of all new vehicles. In 2018, the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) will most probably replace the current New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test cycle as the standard for vehicle emissions testing, replacing the existing rolling road test method to measure representative fuel economy and emissions values. The WLTP cycle is intended to more closely simulate real-world driving styles with more time spent at higher speeds and loads, including more aggressive acceleration and braking phases.

The two approved RDE test routes both start and finish from MAHLE Powertrain’s headquarters in Northampton. Each route is around 50 miles long and encompasses several different types of roads, including motorways and urban routes, to comply with the latest EU regulations.

MAHLE Powertrain’s RDE test process using PEMS has been carefully designed over a long period so that it provides an accurate, true to life reflection of the vehicle’s emissions and fuel consumption.

Derek Wise, MAHLE Powertrain’s chief engineer – build and test – said: “Whilst our in-vehicle sensing equipment – measuring CO2, CO and NOx levels – is similar to the system adopted for our indoor vehicle test facility, the most challenging aspect of achieving RDE approval related to the routes themselves. We’ve worked hard to develop a mix of real-world driving conditions that meet EU standards. We’re delighted to be the first independent engine test facility to gain this approval.”

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