China: Heavy-duty: Fuel Consumption

China: Heavy-duty: Fuel Consumption


The current Stage 3 National Standard tightens fuel consumption limits for new tractors, trucks and buses by 15.3%, 13.8% and 15.9% compared to the previous Stage 2 Standard. The Stage 3 standard will apply to all new heavy commercial vehicles in July 2021.

Standard type
Fuel consumption standard

Current Standard
Stage 3 (National Standard GB 30510-2018: Fuel consumption limits for heavy-duty commercial vehicles) was enacted on July 1, 2019 for new type approvals and July 1, 2021 for all sales and registrations.

Heavy-duty diesel and gasoline vehicles with GVW >3.5 metric tons


China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) currently has primary authority for setting fuel consumption limits for motor vehicles. MIIT typically commissions the China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC), an independent research institution, to research, develop, and draft the standards.

MIIT first announced its plan to develop fuel consumption standards for commercial heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) in 2008. In order to determine the stringency of the HDV fuel consumption standards, CATARC and two other testing laboratories conducted a study to estimate the fuel consumption level of the newest vehicles from the existing fleet. This study was performed in 2010 and 2011 by testing a number of vehicles. The resulting data, collected from a combination of chassis and simulation tests of over 300 HDVs, were then used as the basis for setting the first-ever “Industry Standard” for HDV fuel consumption (known as the Stage I standard). It was then adopted by MIIT at the end of 2011.

The Phase I standard (the Industry Standard) was implemented for new vehicle type approvals on July 1, 2012. The standard is a precursor to the more comprehensive National Standard (Stage 2), which was finalized in December 2013. It took effect on July 1, 2014 for new type approvals and July 1, 2015 for all sales and registrations. The Stage 3 standard was first open for public comment in April 2016 and was finalized in February 2018. It will take effect on July 1, 2019 for new type approvals and on July 1, 2021 for all sales and registrations.

The history of China’s heavy-duty vehicle fuel consumption standards goes back several years prior to MIIT’s issuing of the Industry Standard. In 2006, in hopes to further promote energy conservation work for heavy commercial vehicles, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) submitted the “Fuel Consumption Limit Standards for Soon-to-Appear Large Commercial Vehicles” in the Opinion Paper on Automotive Industry Restructuring (Development and Reform Work) (Document No. [2006]2882). In 2008, the State Council clearly requested that attention be paid to fuel consumption limit standards for heavy commercial vehicles coming on the market in the Memorandum on Further Enhancing Fuel and Electricity Consumption (National Issue Document No. [2008]23). In 2009, the Standardization Administration of China formally initiated the standards formulation project as: The Fuel Consumption Limits for Heavy Commercial Vehicles.

China’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) has also established fuel consumption limits for heavy-duty trucks and passenger vehicles. MOT’s standards are structured as limits on the fuel consumption of commercial vehicles in operation; however, MOT’s legal authority to establish and enforce these standards remains unclear.

China is the third country, following Japan and the United States, to adopt fuel consumption standards for heavy-duty vehicles.

Technical Standards

Phase I (Industry Standard)

In 2011, MIIT adopted an Industry Standard that regulates fuel consumption of heavy-duty diesel and gasoline vehicles with gross vehicle weight (GVW) greater than 3.5 metric tons. The standard covers three vehicle categories: tractors, cargo trucks (not including dump trucks), and buses/coaches (not including city buses).

The standard took effect for new type approvals on July 1, 2012, and for new and pre-approved models on July 1, 2014. Any vehicle that consumes more fuel than the industry standard limit set for its respective weight bin may not be produced. Before the standard took effect in July, MIIT required all new type-approved models to submit fuel consumption data starting from February 1, 2012. This allowed the agency to collect fuel consumption data that would later be used to establish a future national fuel consumption standard for heavy-duty vehicles.

Due to a relatively limited understanding of the HDV market and fuel consumption level at the time, the Industry Standard was intentionally set at a level that manufacturers could meet relatively easily, and it focused on the three vehicle types with the highest sales and highest expected overall fuel consumption. At the time, the plan was to develop a more comprehensive National Standard in 2012.

Phase II (National Standard)

Over the course of 2012, MIIT collected more fuel consumption data through additional testing and simulations of the latest models of five vehicle categories: tractors, straight trucks, dump trucks, city buses and coaches. Special focus was given to city buses and dump trucks, not originally included in the Industry Standard. The agency also obtained additional fuel consumption data of new models through the new fuel consumption type approval process for the Industry Standard. Based on a broader set of fuel consumption data, MIIT proposed the next stage of HDV fuel consumption standard in September 2012. The final standard, GB 30510-2014, was released in December 2013. The final standard is unchanged from the 2012 proposal.

Key elements of the National Stage 2 standard are:

  • Sets maximum fuel consumption levels for five vehicle types: tractors, straight trucks, dump trucks, city buses, and coaches. The five regulated vehicle categories account for over 90% of new HDV sales.
  • Uses 1 liter per 100km as the evaluation metric, consistent with the Industry Standard.
  • Similar to the Industry Standard, the National Standard sets fuel consumption limits through a step function, using gross vehicle weight as the utility parameter.
  • Tightens vehicle consumption limits for tractors, trucks, and coaches by an average of 10.5% to 14.5%, compared with limits under the Industry Standard.
  • About half the models tested for fuel consumption to date cannot meet the proposed fuel consumption limits; under this regulation, new fleet average HDV fuel consumption is expected to drop approximately 11% by 2015, resulting in 5-6 million tons of reduced oil consumption per year.
  • Specifies less stringent fuel consumption limits for gasoline straight trucks and coaches: gasoline models are subject to 20% higher fuel consumption limits than diesel models.
  • The Stage 2 standard was implemented for new HDV models and applies for type approval starting from July 1, 2014; by July 1, 2015, all new commercial HDVs manufactured in China (except for specialized vocational vehicles) are required to comply with the National Standard.

Phase III (National Standard)

The Stage 3 standard retains the same scope as the second phase of national standards by setting limits on fuel consumption for new commercial trucks, dump trucks, tractors, coaches, and buses with a gross vehicle weight above 3,500 kg.

Preparation for the Stage 3 standard started in 2014, and it included a series of discussions with industry stakeholders, as well as testing and simulations. The goal of this new standard stage is to reduce fuel consumption by about 15% in 2020 from the 2015 levels, in order to further reduce the gap between China and other more developed markets globally.

Key elements of the Stage 3 standard are:

  • Similar to the Stage 2 National Standard, the Stage 3 standard sets fuel consumption limits following a step function, using gross vehicle weight to segment each vehicle type.
  • The Stage 3 standard tightens vehicle fuel consumption limits for tractors, trucks, dump trucks, coaches, and city buses by an average of 12.5% to 15.9% compared to Stage 2 limits, and by an average of 21.7% to 27.2% compared to Stage 1 limits.
  • When comparing Stage 2 and 3 standards, the largest percent reduction comes from city buses with GVW 3.5-4.5 tonnes, tightened by 17.9%, and the smallest percent reduction comes from coach buses with GVW 14.5-16.5 tonnes, tightened by 10.7%.
Table 1: Fuel consumption limits for straight trucks
GVW, kg Fuel consumption limits (L/100km)
3,500<GVW≤4,500 11.5a
4,500<GVW≤5,500 12.2a
5,500<GVW≤7,000 13.8a
7,000<GVW≤8,500 16.3a
8,500<GVW≤10,500 18.3a
10,500<GVW≤12,500 21.3a
12,500<GVW≤16,000 24.0a
16,000<GVW≤20,000 27.0a
20,000<GVW≤25,000 32.5a
25,000<GVW≤31,000 37.5a
31,000<GVW 38.5a
(a) For gasoline vehicles, the limit is 1.2 times this value; the calculated value shall be rounded up to one decimal place.
Table 2: Fuel consumption limits for tractor-trailers
GCW, kg Fuel consumption limits (L/100km)
GCW≤18,000 28.0
18,000<GCW≤27,000 30.5
27,000<GVW≤35,000 32.0
35,000<GVW≤40,000 34.0
40,000<GVW≤43,000 35.5
43,000<GVW≤46,000 38.0
46,000<GVW≤49,000 40.0
49,000<GVW 40.5
Table 3: Fuel consumption limits for coaches
GVW, kg Fuel consumption limits (L/100km)
3,500<GVW≤4,500 10.6a
4,500<GVW≤5,500 11.5a
5,500<GVW≤7,000 13.3a
7,000<GVW≤8,500 14.5
8,500<GVW≤10,500 16.0
10,500<GVW≤12,500 17.7
12,500<GVW≤16,500 19.1
16,500<GVW≤18,000 20.1
18,000<GVW≤22,000 22.3
22,000<GVW≤25,000 24.0
25,000<GVW 25.0
(a) For gasoline vehicles, the limit is 1.2 times this value; the calculated value shall be rounded up to one decimal place.
Table 4: Fuel consumption limits for dump trucks
GVW, kg Fuel consumption limits (L/100km)
3,500<GVW≤4,500 13.0
4,500<GVW≤5,500 13.5
5,500<GVW≤7,000 15.0a
7,000<GVW≤8,500 17.5
8,500<GVW≤10,500 19.5
10,500<GVW≤12,500 22.0
12,500<GVW≤16,000 25.0
16,000<GVW≤20,000 29.5
20,000<GVW≤25,000 37.5
25,000<GVW≤31,000 41.0
31,000<GVW 41.5
(a) For gasoline vehicles, the limit is 1.2 times this value; the calculated value shall be rounded up to one decimal place.
Table 5: Fuel consumption limits for city buses
GVW, kg Fuel consumption limits (L/100km)
3,500<GVW≤4,500 11.5
4,500<GVW≤5,500 13.0
5,500<GVW≤7,000 14.7
7,000<GVW≤8,500 16.7
8,500<GVW≤10,500 19.4
10,500<GVW≤12,500 22.3
12,500<GVW≤16,500 25.5
16,500<GVW≤18,000 28.0
18,000<GVW≤22,000 34.5
22,000<GVW≤25,000 38.5
25,000<GVW 41.5

Test Cycles

Prior to the Industry Standard, CATARC was commissioned by MIIT to develop a fuel consumption test procedure that combined chassis dynamometer testing and simulation modeling. The final test procedure was formally adopted in December 2011.

In brief, the test procedure requires that fuel consumption of base models be measured using chassis dynamometer testing, whereas fuel consumption of variants may be measured using a computer simulation model developed by CATARC. The MIIT standard stipulates that the fuel consumption level will be estimated either using chassis dynamometer testing or a simulation program. All base models are required to be tested on a chassis dynamometer, using the World Transient Vehicle Cycle (WTVC), adjusted to allow underpowered trucks with low power-to-weight ratios to follow. A variant of a base model—a model that is similar to the base model on features that affect fuel consumption—can either be tested with a chassis dynamometer or a simulation model.

Base vs. Variant

Commissioned by MIIT, the China Vehicle Technology Service Center issued the definitions of base and variant vehicle, specifying that a vehicle can be considered a variant of a base vehicle only if there are no changes in the following design parameters: Vehicle type (tractor; dump truck; truck, other truck; city bus; bus, other buses); Fuel type; Power required to operate engine-driven accessories (unless power is reduced); Chassis bearer (load-, semi-, and non-load-bearing); Body style of bus/coach (i.e. double-decker, articulated, low floor, etc); Type of truck cab; Frontal area (unless the area is reduced); Type of drive train and position of drive axle; Transmission type and number of gears; Gross mass (within the same mass bin); or Number of axles.

Within the same vehicle family, which encompasses the base and its variant models, the base model must be the model with: the highest gross vehicle weight within the vehicle family; the highest-rated power within the engine family, or the model with the highest certified fuel consumption; the largest frontal area; the smallest net load tire rolling radius, widest cross-section area; largest gross transmission ratio; or a combination of any of the above.

Conformity of production 

Vehicles are considered to be in compliance itheir production test results are less than or equal to 6%, compared with other certified levels. Production of vehicle fuel consumption can be up to 6% higher than levels in the vehicle used for certification. This allowance takes into account any potential chassis dynamometer measurement errors. Not all production vehicles are measured; the conformity of production data is instead determined by a random selection of a few produced vehicles. 

MOT Industry Standard

The MIIT national standard for fuel consumption of heavy-duty vehicles is implemented in parallel with the fuel consumption industry standard issued by MOT. According to MOT’s standards (JT711-2008 for passenger vehicles and JT719-2008 for commercial vehicles), MOT will not issue commercial licenses to any heavy-duty vehicles that do not meet MOT’s fuel consumption requirement. The MOT standards require that fuel consumption of vehicles be estimated at various constant speeds over test tracks. Because the MIIT test method is different from the MOT test method, the stringency of the two standards cannot be directly compared.

Contact Us

Questions or updates about policies?