FPS - How New Real-World Emission Tests Affect the Automotive Aftermarket
The automotive industry is now implementing a new ‘real-world’ emissions testing procedure for vehicles to improve the accuracy of quoted mpg figures. This could mean higher tax brackets for many cars.
The push by manufacturers to produce vehicles that are more optimised for the new test will therefore likely see some trends in engine design change.
Doug Bentley, Head of R&S at Klarius, predicted that the transition will be ‘seamless’ for those in the aftermarket business who properly test new parts before introduction.
With the consensus being that the quoted mpg efficiency figures for new cars were virtually unobtainable in the real world, especially for hybrids, Bentley believes that the new tests aren’t necessarily a bad thing.
New testing procedures aim to provide a closer representation of ‘real-world’ fuel consumption and air pollution from car emissions.
All new car models launched from September 2017 will have to be tested in this way and every new car registered from September 2018 must comply and / or be tested, regardless of its year of manufacture.
There will potentially be cars on the road that have both sets of figures applied to them. However, when it comes to the MOT test or the Type-Approval test, aftermarket compliance is more straight-forward.
A replacement exhaust system, including CATs and DPFs, will need to ensure an MOT pass and conform to Type-Approval standards where applicable. These will be based on the official OE figures for emissions, conformity of fit and back pressure, but not necessarily based on fuel economy as that can be dependent on driving style.
Because of these different testing methods, a number of modern Euro 5 and Euro 6 vehicles whose emissions did not exceed type approval limits under the NEDC might not meet the NOx and CO2 emissions requirements in real driving conditions.
Some existing model ranges might then change, meaning that many aftermarket manufacturers will be required to match a wave of new models with replacement systems if the physical exhaust system components are affected.
It’s likely that much of the changes required will be achieved through software maps, meaning that the mechanical parts of the exhaust are less likely to change.
New fuel and emissions tests will influence auto exhaust manufacturing
Some manufacturers of aftermarket emissions equipment will also have to adapt: as car performance, reliability, fuel efficiency and emissions heavily depend on exhausts, catalytic converters (CATs) and diesel particulate filters (DPFs), it will be even more important to provide high-quality replacement aftermarket emissions parts.
As a result of the new emissions regulations, it will no longer be enough to simply apply lab-testing to establish type-approval standards in auto exhaust products: on-road fit tests will be necessary.
However, manufacturers such as Klarius already use a variety of real-world tests in addition to lab tests to ensure their products meet both internal quality and external test standards.
For the aftermarket auto exhaust system manufacturers at the forefront of real-world emissions testing that have the facility to design, test and release large numbers of new products over short time-scales, the transition from NEDC to RDE won’t be a revolution, but a simple step in an already flexible and dynamic production process.
The results should be good availability and peace of mind for garages and motorists using the independent garage network.
Klarius Products is the largest producer of aftermarket emissions components in Europe and is one of the few manufacturers that independently tests its product range to full type-approval standards as confirmed by regulatory bodies like the British VCA and German TÜV.
To ensure a perfect fit and better emissions performance, Klarius fit-tests all its components on actual vehicles of correct model, make and production year, and real-world tests are run using an in-house VCA approved test track located in Cheadle.
Thanks to this real-world testing, every component is supplied with a Fit-First-Time guarantee.