New WLTP rules for vans could potentially disincentivise fleets from adopting fuel-saving designs, says Arval UK.
The WLTP data being used for converted and bodied chassis only take into account the frontal dimensions of the vehicle and do not include any streamlining measures fitted by body builders such as aerodynamic collars and bulkheads.
The issue is likely to affect Luton and box bodies that are widely used by businesses ranging from individual traders through to major fleets, points out Eddie Parker, Product Manager, LCVs, at Arval UK.
He said, “Streamlining of custom bodies for light commercial vehicles has come a long way in recent years. Features designed to reduce the drag of the van can have a very worthwhile impact on fuel consumption, perhaps 3-5%.
“However, this fact is not recognised in the WLTP data produced for body builders, which only take into account the frontal area of the vehicle. This approach doesn’t recognise the value of streamlining.”
He added that while streamlined designs would still bring benefits in terms of the real world MPG figures achieved by fleets, the overall picture would potentially become muddled.
“If the measures undertaken by body builders to improve fuel consumption are not recognised in the WLTP figures, then there is no widely recognised third party evidence of the positive effects of streamlining, which could have an effect on levels of adoption.”