China: Light-duty: Fuel Consumption
- Standard type: Fuel consumption limits
- Regulating body:
- Phase I and II: National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)
- Phase III and IV: Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)
- Current standard: Phase III, which includes per-vehicle limit values established in GB 27999-2011 as well as implementing details for the Corporate Average Fuel Consumption (CAFC) requirement
- Future standard: Phase IV, currently under development
- Applicability: Light-duty passenger vehicles <3,500 kg, both domestic and imported
2.1 Phase I and II
China's first-ever fuel consumption standards for passenger vehicles were adopted in 2004 (National Standard GB 19578-2004). The standard established “Phase I” and “Phase II” fuel consumption standards, which were phased-in from 2005-2006 and 2008-2009, respectively. The China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC), a semi-governmental organization, drafted the regulations during a two-year process involving multiple agencies of the Chinese government.
The Phase I and II standards required that each individual vehicle model comply with fuel consumption regulations prior to entering the market. This contrasts with policies in the US, the EU, and Canada, which permit auto manufacturers to meet targets by averaging emissions over their entire fleet of models. Phase I applied to light-duty passenger vehicles weighing under 3,500 kg, and entered into force in July 2005 for all new vehicle models (2006 for continued models). The targets were broken down into 16 weight classes (see below), with limit values differentiated by manual and automatic transmission. By the end of 2006 all new vehicles had successfully met the targets.
Phase II tightened the fuel consumption limits by approximately 10 percent from Phase I. This second round of regulations came into effect in January 2008 (2009 for continued models). The completed Phase I and II contributed to a combined overall reduction in fleet fuel consumption of approximately 10 percent, from 9.11 liters per hundred kilometer (L/100 km) in 2002 to 8.06 L/100km by the end of 2008.
2.2 Phase III
In August 2009, China announced the development of Phase III of its fuel consumption regulation program, to be phased-in from 2012 to 2015. The Phase III program has some important differences to Phase I and Phase II. Most importantly, in addition to specific fuel consumption limits by weight class, the Phase III standards establish a corporate-average fuel consumption (CAFC) target which manufacturers are required to comply with.
The Phase III fuel consumption limits are established in National Standard GB 27999-2011. This standard sets the per-vehicle limit values, and indicates that the standard will result in a fleet average fuel consumption for new vehicles of approximately 7 L/100km (equivalent to 167 gCO2/km) by 2015. It also establishes a timeline for compliance with the CAFC requirement. However, detailed implementing regulations, especially related to the specific CAFC target and how it shall be enforced, are not included in the standard.
In 2012, China's State Council released the Energy-Saving and New Energy Vehicle Industrialization Plan, which states an expected fleet average target of 6.9 L/100km by 2015 (slightly below that estimated in GB 27999-2011) and 5.0 L/100km by 2020.
In March 2013, five government departments issued the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency Accounting Method for Passenger Cars, which confirm the expected fleet fuel consumption targets.
2.3 Phase IV
Phase IV fuel consumption standards for passenger vehicles (GB19578-2014) were released in December 2014 to take effect starting on January 1, 2016. Similar to the previous phases of standards, the Phase IV standards set maximum fuel consumption limit values indexed to vehicle kerb weight and have two sets of limit values for regular cars and special cars. Compliance will be determined by the corporate-average fuel consumption (CAFC) of manufacturers for a given year. A fleet average target of 5.0 L/100km for new vehicles sold in 2020 is expected if all manufacturers are able to meet their specific CAFC targets. The standard has a phase-in schedule to provide manufacturers with flexibility to comply. Another important compliance flexibility to manufacturers is the fuel consumption credit for adopting off-cycle fuel saving technologies. Proposed technologies include start-stop, tire pressure monitoring systems, gear shift indicators, and efficient A/C systems. Manufacturers may claim up to 0.5 L/100km if all certified and proven off-cycle technologies are adopted on their cars.
2.4 Light-Duty Commercial Vehicles
China introduced standards for light-duty commercial vehicles in 2007 (National Standard GB 20997-2007). The differentiated regulations apply to N1 and M2 category vehicles with GVW not exceeding 3,500 kg (except for certain types of work vehicles).
3 Technical Standards
3.1 Per-Vehicle Standards
China uses a weight-based standards system and tests vehicles using the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). Fuel consumption data are reported to the government by auto manufacturers, and a sampling of data is verified in third-party laboratories certified by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
Chinese fuel consumption standards for light-duty vehicles are summarized in the following table. The effective dates refer to new models. The dates for models in production (all sales and registrations) are 1 year later.
|Curb Mass (CM), kg||Phase I: 1 Jul 2005||Phase II: 1 Jul 2008||Phase III: 1 Jan 2012|
or 3 rows of seats
|CM ≤ 750||7.2||7.6||6.2||6.6||5.2||5.6|
|750 < CM ≤ 865||7.2||7.6||6.5||6.9||5.5||5.9|
|865 < CM ≤ 980||7.7||8.2||7.0||7.4||5.8||6.2|
|980 < CM ≤ 1,090||8.3||8.8||7.5||8.0||6.1||6.5|
|1,090 < CM ≤ 1,205||8.9||9.4||8.1||8.6||6.5||6.8|
|1,205 < CM ≤ 1,320||9.5||10.1||8.6||9.1||6.9||7.2|
|1,320 < CM ≤ 1,430||10.1||10.7||9.2||9.8||7.3||7.6|
|1,430 < CM ≤ 1,540||10.7||11.3||9.7||10.3||7.7||8.0|
|1,540 < CM ≤ 1,660||11.3||12.0||10.2||10.8||8.1||8.4|
|1,660 < CM ≤ 1,770||11.9||12.6||10.7||11.3||8.5||8.8|
|1,770 < CM ≤ 1,880||12.4||13.1||11.1||11.8||8.9||9.2|
|1,880 < CM ≤ 2,000||12.8||13.6||11.5||12.2||9.3||9.6|
|2,000 < CM ≤ 2,110||13.2||14.0||11.9||12.6||9.7||10.1|
|2,110 < CM ≤ 2,280||13.7||14.5||12.3||13.0||10.1||10.6|
|2,280 < CM ≤ 2,510||14.6||15.5||13.1||13.9||10.8||11.2|
|2,510 < CM||15.5||16.4||13.9||14.7||11.5||11.9|
(1) M/T - Manual transmission|
(2) A/T - Automatic transmission
(3) After 31 Dec 2015, all AT vehicles must meet MT limits
The following figure shows the weight-class limit values for Phase I, II, and III Chinese fuel consumption standards.
Source: The ICCT, Overview of China's Vehicle Emission Control Program
3.2 Corporate Average Fuel Consumption (CAFC) Standards
The Corporate Average Fuel Consumption (CAFC) is a metric that describes the average fuel consumption of all cars produced by a manufacturer. The Phase III standard establishes a timeline by which manufacturers are required to meet the CAFC limit. Prior to 2015, their CAFC must not exceeded certain allowances above the CAFC limit. In the March 2013 announcement, Corporate Average Fuel Consumption (CAFC) Accounting Method for Passenger Cars, the limit value of 6.9 L/100km was confirmed for 2015. Shown below are the limit values and allowances for up to year 2015.
|Year||CAFC requirement allowance||CAFC limit value|
A limit value of 5.0 L/100km has been proposed for 2020. Details for implementation of the 2020 target have yet to be released.
The Corporate Average Fuel Consumption (CAFC) Accounting Method for Passenger Cars, issued in March 2013, details two flexibility schemes for the implementation of the CAFC limit values:
1) Passenger car models with a pure electric range of 50km or more are allowed to be counted five times, and models with a combined fuel consumption lower than 2.8L/100km are counted three times. In other words, these cars are assigned a heavier weight in the CAFC calculation and therefore are able to disproportionately drive the CAFC down for a given company that produces these vehicles. This flexibility is intended to incentivize the production of fuel cell, electric, and plug-in hybrid vehicles. However, it also allows for the production of gasoline vehicles that are less efficient while still meeting requirements.
2) If the CAFC of a car manufacturer is lower than the limit value for a given year, the manufacturer is allowed to relax its requirements by an amount equal to the surplus for the following year or within three years.
4.1 Regulatory Documents
- Zhao Wang, Yuefu Jin, Michael Wang, Wei Wu. 2010. New fuel consumption standards for Chinese passenger vehicles and their effects on reductions of oil use and CO2 emissions of the Chinese passenger vehicle ﬂeet. Energy Policy 38 (2010) 5242–5250. pp. 5242.
- Yuefu Jin, Wei Wu, Bamin Xu and Zhao Wang, Dongquan He and Charlotte Pera, Michael Wang, Feng An and Michael Walsh. 2005. Development of Fuel Consumption Standards for Chinese Light-Duty Vehicles. SAE Technical Paper Series, 2005-01-0534.
- Olivia Nugent and Bob Oliver. Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). Primer on Automobile Fuel Efficiency and Emissions. Pg. 102.
- Oliver, Hongyan H., Kelly Sims Gallagher, Donglian Tian, and Jinhua Zhang. "China's Fuel Economy Standards for Passenger Vehicles: Rationale, Policy Process, and Impacts." Discussion Paper 2009-03, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, March 2009.