China: Heavy-duty: Fuel Consumption


As of 2015, the National Standard (known as Stage II) tightens fuel consumption limits for new tractors, trucks and buses by 10.5% to 14.5% compared to the previous Industry Standard. The proposed Stage III standard would apply to all new heavy commercial vehicles in July 2021 and reduce fuel consumption by 15% below 2015 levels.

Standard type
Fuel consumption standard
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 a first-ever “Industry Standard” for HDV fuel consumption (known as the Stage I standard), which was adopted by MIIT at the very 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 (Phase II), which was first open for public commenting in the fall of 2012 and finalized in December 2013. It takes effect July 1, 2014, for new type approvals and July 1, 2015, 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 order 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 “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) and in the content of the standards for improvement of fuel economy. In 2009, the Standardization Administration of China formerly initiated the standards formulation project “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 is 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 (MIIT 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 will take effect for new and pre-approved models on July 1, 2014. A vehicle model that consumes more fuel than the industry standard limit set for its respective weight bin is prohibited from production. 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 be used for establishing a future national fuel consumption standard for heavy-duty vehicles.

Hdv industry standard limits.png

Fuel consumption limits stipulated in China’s Industry Standard (known as Phase I for new commercial 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 highest sales and highest expected overall fuel consumption. At that time, the plan was to develop a more comprehensive National Standard in 2012.

Phase II (MIIT National Standard)

Over the course of 2012, MIIT collected more fuel consumption data through additional testing and simulation performed on 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, which were not 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.

Hdv national standard limits.png

Fuel consumption limits stipulated in China’s National Standard (known as Phase II for new commercial heavy-duty vehicles)

The following are the key elements of the National Standard (Stage II standard):

  • Sets maximum fuel consumption levels for five vehicle types—tractors, straight trucks, dump trucks, city buses and coaches. (Dump trucks and city buses were not included in the Industry Standard). The five regulated vehicle categories account for over 90% of new HDV sales.
  • Uses liter per 100km as the evaluation metric, consistent with the Industry Standard.
  • Similar to the Industry Standard, the National Standard sets fuel consumption limits following a step function, using gross vehicle weight as the utility parameter.
  • Tightens vehicle consumption limits for tractors, trucks and coach by an average of 10.5% to 14.5% compared to the limits under the Industry Standard.
  • About half of 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 annual oil consumption.
  • 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 National Standard is to be implemented for new HDV models applying 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.
  • The National standard was formally approved and issued in February 2014. The standard will be followed by an implementation plan currently under development.

A comparison of the stringency of the Phase I (Industry Standard) and Phase II (National Standard) is shown below:

National industry compare.png

Comparison of the stringency of the Industry Fuel Consumption Standard and the National Fuel Consumption Standard for new commercial heavy-duty vehicles

The weight-based fuel consumption limits for both standards are shown below:

Fuel consumption limits
Phase I
Phase II
Phase II
3.5-4.5 15.5 13 15
4.5-5.5 16.5 14 16
5.5-7 18.5 16 17.5
7-8.5 22 19 20.5
8.5-10.5 24 21.5 23
10.5-12.5 28 25 25.5
12.5-16 31 28 28
16-20 35 31.5 34
20-25 41 37.5 43.5
25-31 47.5 43 47
>31 50 45.5 49
Phase I
Phase II
3.5-18 38 33
18-27 42 36
27-35 45 38
35-40 47 40
40-43 49 42
43-46 51.5 45
46-49 54 47
>49 56 48
Phase I
Phase II
Phase II
buses only)
3.5-4.5 14 12.5 14
4.5-5.5 15.5 13.5 15.5
5.5-7 17 15 17.5
7-8.5 19 16.5 19.5
8.5-10.5 21 18.5 22.5
10.5-12.5 22.5 20 26
12.5-14.5 23.5 21.5 30.5
14.5-16.5 25 22.5 34
16.5-18 26 24 37.5
18-22 27.5 25 41
22-25 30 27.5 45.5
>25 33 29.5 49

Test Cycle

Prior to the issuing of the Industry Standard, CATARC was commissioned by MIIT to develop a fuel consumption test procedure that combined chassis dynamometer testing and simulation modeling.1 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 under power trucks to follow. A variant of a base model—a model that is similar to the base model on features that affect fuel consumption—could have an option of being tested using a chassis dynamometer or using a simulation model to determine its fuel consumption level.

Base vs. Variant

Commissioned by MIIT, the China Vehicle Technology Service Center issued the definitions of base and variant vehicle,2 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 than dump truck; city bus; bus, other than city bus); Fuel type; Power required to operate engine-driven accessories (unless power is reduced); Chassis bearer (load-, semi-, and non load-bearing); Body style of buses/coaches (i.e. double decker, articulated, low floor, etc); Type of truck cab; Frontal area (unless area is reduced); Type of drive train and position of drive axle; Transmission type and number of gears; Gross mass (within 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 for engines from the same manufacturer and same engine family, or model using an engine 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 combination of the above.

MOT Industry Standard

The MIIT industry standard for fuel consumption of heavy-duty vehicles will be implemented in parallel with a 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 using test track test under various constant speeds. Because the MIIT test method is different from the MOT test method, the stringency of the two standards cannot be directly compared.

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Zheng, T., Jin, Y., Wang, Z., Wang, M. et al., “Development of Fuel Consumption Test Method Standards for Heavy-Duty Commercial Vehicles in China,” SAE Technical Paper 2011-01-2292, 2011
  2. “Specific regulation regarding implementing the management of heavy-duty vehicle fuel consumption catalog (provisional)”, China Vehicle Technology Service Center, 2012

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