Mexico: Light-duty: Fuel Economy and GHG

Mexico: Light-duty: Fuel Economy and GHG


CO2 emissions and fuel economy standards are patterned after the U.S. 2012–2016 standards and apply to new passenger vehicles for model years 2014–2016. Separate footprint-based curves apply to cars and light trucks and represent a 13% reduction in fuel consumption in 2016 compared to a 2011 baseline. In the absence of further regulatory progress, the 2016 standard has been carried over to model years 2017 and 2018.

Standard type
CO2 emissions limits and the fuel economy equivalent
Regulating Body
Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), Ministry of Energy (SENER), and Ministry of the Economy (Economia)
New motor vehicles for sale in Mexico, up to a GVWR of 3,857 kg (8,500 lbs.).


In mid-2012, the Government of Mexico proposed a set of standards (PROY-NOM-163-SEMARNAT-ENER-SCFI-2012) to regulate CO2emissions and fuel economy for new passenger vehicles (cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs). The proposal was patterned on US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2012–2016 standards, although overall stringency was reduced somewhat and additional credits were granted, as described below.

The proposed standards were adopted in July, 2013, as NOM-163: NORMA Oficial Mexicana de Emisiones de bióxido de carbono (CO2) provenientes del escape y su equivalencia en términos de rendimiento de combustible, which sets formal standards for CO2 emission and equivalent fuel economy for new passenger vehicles, including cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs.

Technical Standards

The new standards apply to all manufacturers that sell new light-duty vehicles with gross vehicle weights (GVWs) up to 3,857 kg (8,500 lbs) with the exception of those manufacturers that sell less than 500 total vehicles per model year.

The standards regulate CO2 emissions in grams per kilometer, providing the equivalent regulatory metrics for fuel economy in km/l. The standard uses similar footprint or size-based curves as included in the U.S. and Canada regulations, providing goals for model years 2012 through 2016, and automakers must submit data for each model year. The standards require automakers to meet a sales-weighted average for model years 2014 through 2016. If the 2014-2016 compliance targets are not met, standards allow application of credits, including both early credits generated in 2012 and 2013 and technology-based credits described below. Manufacturers may also pool compliance for additional flexibility.

Separate compliance curves, based on the vehicle footprint (defined as the area between the four wheels of the vehicle in m2), are provided for two categories—passenger cars and light trucks (SUVs, minivans, pickups). The standards are based upon the U.S. NHTSA Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) curves, with a 1% reduction in the goal for cars and a 2% reduction for light trucks. In the absence of credits or trading, the resulting regulatory curves would lead to a fleet average fuel economy for 2016 of 14.9 km/l, if average vehicle size and car/truck ratios remain constant. Application of additional credits reduce the 2016 fleet average goal to 14.6 km/l, not accounting for application of early action credits or credit banking.

Emissions targets for each model year are reflected in the table below; CO2 targets for each model-year vehicle are calculated according to their respective vehicle-classification footprint.

Passenger Vehicle Emissions Targets (CO2 g/km)
Model year

For vehicle footprint ≤ 3.81 m2

Target = A

For vehicle footprint ≥ 5.20 m2

Target = B

For vehicle footprint > 3.81 m2 and < 5.20 m2

Target = C*footprint in m2 + D

A (g CO2/km) B (g CO2/km) C (g CO2/km/m2) D (g CO2/km)
2012 155.1 199.5 31.8616 33.7630
2013 151.5 196.0 31.867 30.1593
2014 147.7 192.1 31.8428 26.4381
2015 142.1 186.5 31.8570 20.7744
2016 135.7 180.1 31.8662 14.3406


Light-duty Truck Emissions Targets (CO2 g/km)


Model year

For vehicle footprint ≤ 3.81m2

Target = A

For vehicle footprint ≥ 6.13m2

Target = B

For vehicle footprint > 3.81m2 and < 6.13m2

Target = C*footprint in m2 + D

A (g CO2/km) B (g CO2/km) C (g CO2/km/m2) D (g CO2/km)
2012 188.9 252.9 27.5681 83.8571
2013 183.6 247.7 27.5713 78.6107
2014 179.5 243.5 27.5622 74.4906
2015 172.1 236.1 27.5620 67.1413
2016 163.6 227.6 27.5647 58.6297

The standards define credits for introduction of highly efficient technologies, efficient and low climate impact air conditioning systems, advanced vehicle technologies, and early action.

  1. Introduction of highly efficient technologies. Credits are available to automakers that offer or produce hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles within Mexico, or vehicles that have CO2 emissions 20% lower than the goals for that vehicle size, type and model year. There is no minimum number of vehicles sold or produced in Mexico to get this credit and the full credit is provided with demonstration of compliance.
  2. Air conditioning systems. Credits are available for manufacturers that demonstrate plans to introduce air conditioning systems that reduce CO2-equivalent emissions (either through low-leak systems that ensure emissions of 16.6 a 20.7 grams per year for passenger vehicles and light trucks respectively or substitution of refrigerants with lower global warming potential gases) and use of any of the defined technologies intended to increase the efficiency of air conditioning systems. Credits are applied in full for any fleet for which the automaker demonstrates plans to introduce these elements to at least 80% of the vehicles’ air conditioning systems.
  3. Technology penetration. Credits are available for manufacturers that demonstrate plans to introduce any listed technology (such as gasoline direct injection, variable valve timing, continuously variable transmissions, etc.) or other accepted or recognized technology (by EPA or similar authorities in the EU or Japan) to reduce fuel consumption. Credits are applied in full for any fleet for which the automaker demonstrates plans for 80% penetration of any of technologies listed.
  4. Early action. Credits are provided for automaker compliance with emission targets for the years 2012 and 2013. Credits for compliance in these years are equal to 1.5 times the fleet average for the two years combined.

If fleets do not achieve compliance based on regulatory curves, all credits can be banked and used towards compliance for model years 2014 through 2016.

The following table provides credit values for MY 2013 through 2016 listed in NOM-163.

Model Year CO2 Emissions in grams/km (equivalent in km/l)
Introduction of highly efficient technologies Air-conditioning systems Technology penetration
2013 2.7 (0.251) 1.4 (0.131) 1.4 (0.131)
2014 2.7 (0.251) 1.4 (0.131) 1.4 (0.131)
2015 2.3 (0.214) 1.1 (0.103) 1.1 (0.103)
2016 1.8 (0.168) 0.9 (0.085) 0.9 (0.085)

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