A hard job may be getting a little harder for European automakers looking to meet stricter emissions mandates. Automakers charged with cutting fleetwide emissions by about 27 percent by 2021 may have to shave off even more emissions by then if the European Union has its way. That's because the EU is looking at instituting a new testing program to measure emissions in a way that some analysts say is more accurate than the long-held New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) testing system, Automotive News Europe says.

The World Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which is supported by the United Nations, is said to provide more real-world information on driving emissions, and the EU wants to put that program into place by 2017. Automakers want to push that back to at least 2020. That's because the current system may underestimate emissions by as much as 30 percent, meaning the new emissions goals will seem to be that much harder to reach if the WLTP testing standard is put into place. The need for even lower real-world emissions could add on as much as 800 Euros (almost $1,100 US) to the cost of building a typical car.

As it is, German automakers like BMW have already been saying that meeting the 2021 emissions standards will be difficult, if not impossible, without investments that will require some governmental funding input. Even automakers like Renault, which this spring became the first European automaker to get fleetwide emissions below the 115 grams of CO2 per kilometer mark, may have more of a challenge meeting next decade's emissions standards than previously thought.