China: Light-duty: Emissions

Overview

China 5 standards (similar to Euro 5) will apply to new vehicles sold nationwide in January 2017 (gasoline) and January 2018 (diesel). Advance implementation had occurred in 11 eastern provinces as of April 2016. As of December 2016, adopted China 6 standards will apply in July 2020 (China 6a) and July 2023 (China 6b). These standards incorporate elements of Euro 6 and U.S. Tier 2 regulations for tailpipe and evaporative emissions. China 6b includes mandatory real-driving emissions testing modeled after the EU RDE regulation with a few enhancements and modifications. It is also important to note that low-speed trucks are now regulated as light-duty vehicles and thus held to these standards. 

Standard type
Conventional pollutant emission limits

Regulating Body

Nationwide: Ministry of Environmental Protection
Regional and Local: Environmental Protection Bureaus

Applicability
All vehicles in categories M1, M2, and N1 with a reference mass not exceeding 3500kg. Categories are based on European precedent with some minor differences (see below).

History

Nationwide Standards

Although China’s vehicle emission control program history dates to the early 1980s, the modern nationwide control program began in the late 1990s. Following the successful elimination of leaded gasoline, China began implementing progressively stringent tailpipe emission standards for light-duty vehicles following the European precedent. China’s emissions standards, which are nearly identical to Europe’s in terms of limit values, test cycles, and other parameters, are known as China I (equivalent to Euro 1), China II (equivalent to Euro 2), etc. The formal English title of Chinese light-duty standards are written with Roman numerals for China I-IV, but China 5 is written with an Arabic “5.”

Vehicle emission standards are issued jointly by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and the Standardization Administration of China (SAC), though MEP is in charge of developing, drafting, and approving the standards.

China’s current nationwide light-duty vehicle emission standard is China 5 (Euro 5). In December 2016, MEP issued the final version of the China 6 standard for gasoline and diesel vehicles. The China 6 standard, with an implementation date of 1 July 2020 for China 6a and 1 July 2023 for China 6b, is one of the most stringent emission standards around the world for the post-2020 time frame.

The following table presents the nationwide implementation dates of light-duty vehicle emission standards in China:

Timeline for nationwide implementation of light-duty emission standards

Stage Standard Implementation Date
(type approval)
Implementation Date
(all vehicle sales and registrations)
China 1 GB 18352.1-2001 1 Jan 2000 (Type 1)
1 Jan 2001 (Type 2)
1 Jul 2000 (Type 1)
1 Oct 2001 (Type 2)
China 2 GB18352.2-2001 1 Jul 2004 (Type 1)
1 Jul 2005 (Type 2)
1 Jul 2005 (Type 1)
1 Jul 2006 (Type 2)
China 3 GB 18352.3-2005 1 Jul 2007 (no EOBD req.)
1 Jul 2008 (EOBD req. for Type 1)
1 Jul 2010 (EOBD req. for all others)
1 Jul 2008 (no EOBD req.)
1 Jul 2009 (EOBD req. for Type 1)
1 Jul 2011 (EOBD req. for all others)
China 4 1 Jul 2010 1 July 2011 (gasoline)
1 Jul 2013 (diesel)1
China 5 GB 18352.5-2013 1 Jan 2016 (gasoline)
1 Jan 2017 (diesel)
1 Jan 2017 (gasoline)2
1 Jan 2018 (diesel)2
China 6 GB 18352.5-2016 n/a 1 Jul 2020 (China 6a)
1 Jul 2023 (China 6b)
Notes:1. This date represents a two-year delay from the date specified in the original standard.
2. The implementation timeline of China 5 light-duty gasoline vehicle and light-duty diesel bus in the eastern 11 provinces (Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong, Guangdong and Hainan) is 1 April 2016

Regional Standards

Once a nationwide standard has been issued, cities and regions in China may implement the standard in advance of the nationwide implementation dates, conditional on receiving approval from the State Council. Beijing has historically been China’s leader in aggressively implementing new standards, followed by Shanghai, Guangzhou, and some other cities.

In early 2013, because the China 5 national standard was not yet released, Beijing was granted special approval to adopt a custom “Beijing 5” standard. Shanghai implemented the national China 5 standard early in 2014.

Tailpipe standard implementation dates for some key cities in China are summarized as follows:

Standard implementation dates for key Chinese cities

Stage Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou and others
China 1 1 Jan 1999 1 Jul 1999 n/a
China 2 1 Jan 2003 1 Mar 2003 1 Jul 2005
China 3 31 Dec 2005 HDV: phased-in over 2007 1 Sep 2006
China 4 LDV: 1 Dec 2008 (OBD req.)
HDV: 1 Jul 2008
1 Nov 2009 1 Jun 2010 (GZ + 9 cities in Guangdong Province)
China 5 1 Feb 20131 1 May 2014 31 Dec 2015 (GZ + 8 cities in Guangdong Province)
30 Jun 2016 Guangdong Province

Apr 1 2016 (gasoline, and light-duty diesel bus) 11 Eastern provinces2
Notes:1. Technically the “Beijing 5” standard, as the nationwide China 5 standard had not yet been released when it was implemented.
2. These 11 eastern provinces are Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong, Guangdong and Hainan.

Technical Standards

Vehicle Classification

Light-duty vehicle categories are based on the EU classification with some deviation:

  • Type 1 vehicles: M1 vehicles for no more than 6 passengers including driver, and GVWR ≤ 2.5 tons.
  • Type 2 vehicles: Other light-duty vehicles (including N1 light commercial vehicles) further divided into three classes based on the reference mass.

Limit Values

Emission limits for China III, IV, 5 and 6 are shown below. (Note: the official English titles of China III and IV use Roman numerals, while the official English title of China 5 and 6 use Arabic numerals.) Starting with China 6a, regulated emission limits are fuel-neutral, meaning the same limits are applied to gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Emission limits for China III, IV, 5 and 6

Engine Type Stage Vehicle Type Level Reference Mass CO HC NMHC HC+NOx NOx N2O PM(1) PN(2)
kg g/km #/km
Spark
Ignition
(Gasoline)
China III 1 All 2.30 0.20 0.15
2 I <1305 2.30 0.20 0.15
II 1305-1760 4.17 0.25 0.18
III >1760 5.22 0.29 0.21
China IV 1 All 1.00 0.10 0.08
2 I <1305 1.00 0.10 0.08
II 1305-1760 1.81 0.13 0.10
III >1760 2.27 0.16 0.11
China 5 1 All 1.00 0.10 0.06 0.0045
2 I <1305 1.00 0.10 0.06 0.0045
II 1305-1760 1.81 0.13 0.075 0.0045
III >1760 2.27 0.16 0.082 0.0045
China 6a 1 All 0.7 0.1 0.068 0.06 0.02 0.0045 6.0x1011
2 I <1305 0.7 0.1 0.068 0.06 0.02 0.0045 6.0x1011
II 1305-1760 0.88 0.13 0.09 0.075 0.025 0.0045 6.0x1011
III >1760 1 0.16 0.108 0.082 0.03 0.0045 6.0x1011
China 6b 1 All 0.5 0.05 0.035 0.035 0.02 0.003 6.0x1011
2 I <1305 0.5 0.05 0.035 0.035 0.02 0.003 6.0x1011
II 1305-1760 0.63 0.065 0.045 0.045 0.025 0.003 6.0x1011
III >1760 0.74 0.08 0.055 0.05 0.03 0.003 6.0x1011
Compression
Ignition
(Diesel)
China III 1 All 0.64 0.56 0.50 0.050
2 I <1305 0.64 0.56 0.50 0.050
II 1305-1760 0.80 0.72 0.65 0.070
III >1760 0.95 0.86 0.78 0.100
China IV 1 All 0.50 0.30 0.25 0.025
2 I <1305 0.50 0.30 0.25 0.025
II 1305-1760 0.63 0.39 0.33 0.040
III >1760 0.74 0.46 0.39 0.060
China 5 1 All 0.50 0.23 0.18 0.0045 6.0x1011
2 I <1305 0.50 0.23 0.18 0.0045 6.0x1011
II 1305-1760 0.63 0.295 0.235 0.0045 6.0x1011
III >1760 0.74 0.35 0.28 0.0045 6.0x1011
China 6a 1 All 0.7 0.1 0.068 0.06 0.02 0.0045 6.0x1011
2 I <1305 0.7 0.1 0.068 0.06 0.02 0.0045 6.0x1011
II 1305-1760 0.88 0.13 0.09 0.075 0.025 0.0045 6.0x1011
III >1760 1 0.16 0.108 0.082 0.03 0.0045 6.0x1011
China 6b 1 All 0.5 0.05 0.035 0.035 0.02 0.003 6.0x1011
2 I <1305 0.5 0.05 0.035 0.035 0.02 0.003 6.0x1011
II 1305-1760 0.63 0.065 0.045 0.045 0.025 0.003 6.0x1011
III >1760 0.74 0.08 0.055 0.05 0.03 0.003 6.0x1011
(1) PM limits for China 5 gasoline vehicles only apply to GDI vehicles.
(2) Before July 1, 2020, a transitioning PN limit of 6.0×1012 #/km applies on gasoline cars.

Additional Notes and Requirements

  • Chinese test cycles are based on the European test cycles (NEDC) for China I-5, and World Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedures (WLTP) for China 6.
  • New gasoline vehicles must also meet an evaporative emission limit of 2 g/test (SHED).
  • Durability requirements are 80,000 km for China III, 100,000 km for China IV, 160,000 km for China 5 and 6a, and 200,000 km for China 6b.

Real driving emission testing (RDE)

The China 6 standard includes RDE testing during both vehicle prototype and in-service stages. The emission limits for RDE tests are set as Not-To-Exceed (NTE) limits expressed as the product of a conformity factor (CF) and emission limits in Type I testing. The China 6 RDE provision is primarily based on the Euro 6 RDE package #2 passed in March 2016 with a few enhancements and modifications for the Chinese context. For NOX and PN, there are only monitoring and recording requirements before July 2023; CFs will be enforced starting from July 2023. The CFs of NOX and PN are temporarily set at 2.1 and will be reevaluated by July 2022. CO will be monitored in RDE tests, but no CFs have been set thus far. For passenger cars, for example, this leads to NTE limits of 73.5 mg/km for NOX and 1.26 x 1012 #/km for PN, which will apply once China 6b takes effect in July 2023. China 6 also extends the altitude boundary condition to 2,400 meters (m) compared 1,300 m for Euro 6 RDE. Accordingly the second-by-second emission results of RDE tests at extended high-altitude (1,300 – 2,400 m) will be divided by a factor of 1.8 when integrated into the RDE test results.

The table below provides a detailed comparison of the requirements and design of the RDE tests between China 6 and Euro 6 RDE requirements (package #3 passed in December 2016). The differences are denoted in italics.

Comparison of China 6 and Euro 6 RDE requirements

Requirement Euro 6 China 6
Application Type Approval Test Yes Yes
In-Service Test No Yes
Emission standard Regulated pollutants NOX and PN after monitoring period
Monitoring for CO
Binding limits in Type I test(1) NOX:
Diesel: 0.08 g/km
Gasoline: 0.06 g/km
PN: 6 x 1011 #/km
Fuel-neutral
NOX: 0.035 g/km

PN: 6 x 1011 #/km
Conformity factor(2)
(effective date)
New types: 2.1 (9/1/2017)
All new: 2.1 (9/1/2019)
New types: 1.5 (1/1/2020)
All new: 1.5 (1/1/2021)(3)
All new: 2.1 (7/1/2023)
Cold starts Included Excluded
Trip requirement Total trip duration 90 – 120 min
Minimum distance for each segment Urban: 16 km, Rural: 16 km, Motorway: 16 km
Trip composition Urban: 29%-44% of total distance
Rural: 23%-43% of total distance
Motorway: 23%-43% of total distance
Average speed Urban: 15-40 km/h, Rural: 60-90 km/h, Motorway: >90 km/h
Stop percentage during urban segment 6%-30%
Maximum speed during motorway segment 145 km/h (and 160 km/h for up to 3% of motorway driving time) 120 km/h (and 135 km/h for up to 3% of motorway driving time)
High speed duration during motorway segment At least 5 min driving at >100km/h speed
Boundary condition Ambient temperature Before 1/1/2020 (for new types) and 1/1/2021 (for all new vehicles):
Moderate: 3°C – 30°C
Extended: -2°C – 3°C and 30°C – 35°CAfterward:
Moderate: 0°C -30°C
Extended: -7°C -0°C, 30°C -35°C
Moderate: 0°C -30°C
Extended: -7°C -0°C, 30°C -35°C
Altitude Moderate: <700 m
Extended: 700-1300 m
Moderate: <700 m
Extended: 700-1300 m
Further extended: 1300-2400 m
Correction factor Extended: 1.6 Extended: 1.6
Further extended: 1.8
Altitude requirements Start and end point shall not differ more than 100 m in altitude; maximum cumulative altitude increase: 1200 m over a distance of 100 km
Dynamic requirements For each segment, max. limit is defined as the 95th percentile of v*a (speed * positive acceleration); min. limit is defined by relative positive acceleration (RPA)
Use of auxiliary systems Optional
Evaluation methods Data evaluation methods Moving Average Window method or Power binning method Moving Average Window method
Verification of test normality in EMROAD method Maximum primary tolerance for the CO2characteristic curve: 30% Maximum primary tolerance for the CO2characteristic curve: 50%
(1) Type I test: exhaust emissions test after a cold start at normal ambient temperature. The emission limits in this table are for M1 and M2 vehicles in the EU and M1 Category I vehicles in China.
(2) For the whole trip and for the urban segment separately.
(3) N1 classes 2 and 3, and N2 vehicles are always 1 year later than the dates listed above.

Contact Us

Questions or updates about policies?