The WLTC vs NEDC: A Case Study on the Impacts of Driving Cycle on Engine Performance and Fuel Consumption
Keywords:WLTC; WLTP; NEDC; Driving cycle; Fuel consumption
The World-wide harmonised Light-duty Test Cycle (WLTC) was developed internationally for the determination of pollutant emission and fuel consumption from combustion engines of light-duty vehicles. It replaced the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) used in the European Union (EU) for type-approval testing purposes. This paper presents an extensive comparison of the WLTC and NEDC. The main specifications of both driving cycles are provided, and their advantages and limitations are analysed. The WLTC, compared to the NEDC, is more dynamic, covers a broader spectrum of engine working states and is more realistic in simulating typical real-world driving conditions. The expected impact of the WLTC on vehicle engine performance characteristics is discussed. It is further illustrated by a case study on two light-duty vehicles tested in the WLTC and NEDC. Findings from the investigation demonstrated that the driving cycle has a strong impact on the performance characteristics of the vehicle combustion engine. For the vehicles tested, the average engine speed, engine torque and fuel flow rate measured over the WLTC are higher than those measured over the NEDC. The opposite trend is observed in terms of fuel economy (expressed in l/100 km); the first vehicle achieved a 9% reduction, while the second – a 3% increase when switching from NEDC to WLTC. Several factors potentially contributing to this discrepancy have been pointed out. The implementation of the WLTC in the EU will force vehicle manufacturers to optimise engine control strategy according to the operating range of the new driving cycle.
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