Comparison of Vehicle Standards around the World

Research at Energy and Transportation Technologies, LLC, indicates that at least nine countries and regions around the world have established or proposed their own motor vehicle fuel economy or GHG emission standards, as shown in Table 9-2. Motor vehicle fuel economy standards have been established for most of the developed world, including the United States, EU nations, Japan, Canada, and Australia. The EU has also negotiated voluntary vehicle CO2 emission rate targets as a means to control GHG

TABLE 9-1. Measures to Promote Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Around the World

Approach

Measures/Forms

Country/Region

Standards

Fuel economy

Numeric standard

U.S., Japan, Canada,

averaged over fleets or

Australia, China,

based on vehicle

Taiwan, South

subclasses

Korea

GHG emissions

Grams/km or grams/mile

EU, California

Fiscal

High fuel taxes

Fuel taxes at least 50%

EU, Japan

Incentives

greater than crude price

Differential

Tax or registration fee

EU, Japan

vehicle fees

based on engine size,

and taxes

efficiency & CO2

emissions

Economic

Gas guzzler tax

U.S.

penalties

Support for

R&D programs

Funding for advanced

U.S., Japan, EU

new

technology research

technologies

Technology

Sales requirement for

California

mandates and

ZEVs

targets

Traffic control

Incentives

Allowing hybrids to use

California, Virginia,

measures

HOV lanes

and others states

in the U.S.

Disincentives

Banning SUVs on city

Paris

streets

Source: Based on Table 1 in An & Sauer, 2004.

Source: Based on Table 1 in An & Sauer, 2004.

TABLE 9-2. Fuel Economy and GHG Standards for Vehicles Around the World

Country/Region

Type

Measure

Structure

Test Method

Implementation

United States

Fuel

mpg

Cars and light

U.S. CAFE

Mandatory

trucks

European

CÜ2

g/km

Overall light-

EU NEDC

Voluntary

Union

duty fleet

Japan

Fuel

km/L

Weight-based

Japan 10-15

Mandatory

China

Fuel

L/100-km

Weight-based

EU NEDC

Mandatory

California

GHG

g/mile

Car/LDTl

U.S. CAFE

Mandatory

and LDT2

Canada

Fuel

L/100-km

Cars and light

U.S. CAFE

Voluntary

trucks

Australia

Fuel

L/100-km

Overall light-

EU NEDC

Voluntary

duty fleet

Taiwan, South

Fuel

km/L

Engine size

U.S. CAFE

Source: Energy and Transportation Technologies, LLC.

Korea

Source: Energy and Transportation Technologies, LLC.

emissions. The state of California in the United States has also recently proposed its own GHG emission standards for vehicles. China and South Korea have their own recently adopted new vehicle fuel efficiency standards, while Taiwan has had its own fuel economy standards for more than a decade.

Directly comparing vehicle standards among different regions and countries is challenging. Different countries and regions have chosen to adopt different fuel economy or GHG standards for various historic, cultural, and political reasons. These standards differ in stringency—by their apparent forms and structures and by how the vehicle fuel economy or GHG emission levels are measured—that is, by testing methods. They also differ by implementation requirements, such as mandatory versus voluntary approaches.

Automobile fuel economy standards can take many forms, including numeric standards based on vehicle fuel consumption, such as liters of gasoline per hundred kilometers of travel (L/100-km) or fuel economy, such as miles per gallon (mpg), or kilometers per liter (km/L). Automobile GHG emission standards are usually expressed as grams per kilometer (g/km) or grams per mile (g/mile). Test methods include the U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) test, New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) test, and the Japan 10-15 Cycle test.

Comparison of Countries and Regions

Recently announced fuel economy regulations by the Chinese government have inspired new interest in analyzing and understanding fuel economy and GHG programs around the world. An and Sauer recently wrote a report published by the Pew Center called "Global Climate Changes: Comparison of Passenger Fuel Economy and GHG Emissions Standards around the World" (An and Sauer, 2004). In the report, they proposed a methodology to directly compare fleet average fuel economy of passenger vehicle fleets in different regions and countries. The significance of the report is that, prior to the study, fuel economy programs in different countries and regions had largely been isolated issues. These international comparisons have put these programs in the spotlight and put pressures on countries that either are lagging behind or lack the standards of the rest of the world.

The three largest automobile markets—the United States, the EU, and Japan—approach the regulation of fuel economy quite differently. The United States uses the CAFE standards, which require each manufacturer to meet specified fleet average fuel economy levels for cars and light trucks. Canada's automobile industry has voluntarily agreed to follow the U.S. CAFE standards in Canada.

In Japan and China, fuel economy standards are based on a weight classification system, where vehicles must comply with the standard for their weight class. Similarly, the fuel economy standards in Taiwan and South Korea are based on an engine size classification system. However, China is following testing procedures developed by the EU, and Taiwan and Korea are following testing methods that are similar to U.S. CAFE procedures. Japan maintains its own test procedures.

In the EU and Australia, the automobile industry has signed a voluntary agreement with the government to reach an overall fleet average fuel economy or CO2 emissions level by a specific date. The entire industry must meet one target. This contrasts with the U.S. CAFE approach where each company must individually meet standards for cars and light trucks. Tracking of compliance in EU nations is left up to the Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles (ACEA) and the other automaker associations.

In order to create comparisons among the programs underway in different countries, the vehicle fuel economy or GHG standards must first be converted into fleet averages, using the methodology developed by An and Sauer. For standards already designed as fleet averages, including those in the United States, EU, and Australia, this step is not necessary. For regions with standards designed by categories—such as vehicle type, weight, or engine size—this analysis assumes that the vehicle fleet mix in each country stays constant from 2002 throughout the time period analyzed. In other words, the comparisons do not address the implications of changing the vehicle size or weight composition of the current fleet. Next, the U.S. CAFE equivalent mpg and EU NEDC equivalent standard measuring grams of CO2 per kilometer (km) are selected as the reference standards. Finally, conversion factors to convert local standards to the reference standards are developed and applied where necessary.

Figures 9-1 and 9-2 show comparisons of fuel economy and GHG emission standards normalized around metrics and vehicle test cycles as described in the preceding procedure. These figures show that the EU and Japan have the most stringent standards and that the United States and Canada have the weakest standards in terms of fleet-average fuel economy rating. These figures also show that the United States and Canada also have the highest CO2 emission levels based on EU testing procedures. If the California GHG standards go into effect, they would narrow the gap between U.S. and EU standards, but the California standards would still be less stringent than the EU standards.

Figure 9-3 shows that the EU, China, Canada, and California all will have fleet average fuel economy improvements within the next decade equal to or greater than 25 percent over their corresponding 2002 baseline cases. Figure 9-4 shows the fleet average GHG and fuel reduction over 2002 baseline year for these countries and regions.

O 35

Japan

Australia Canada

California

Australia Canada

FIGURE 9-1. Comparison of fuel economy and GHG emission standards normalized by CAFE-converted mpg. Source: An and Sauer, 2004. Note: Dotted lines denote proposed standards.

Canada Australia

■ California

Japan

2012

2014

2002

2006

2008

FIGURE 9-2. Comparison of fuel economy and GHG emission standards normalized by NEDC-converted g CO2/km. Source: An and Sauer, 2004. Note: Dotted lines denote proposed standards.

Year

FIGURE 9-3. Fleet average fuel economy improvements over the 2002 level. Source: Feng An, Energy and Transportation Technologies LLC.

Year

FIGURE 9-3. Fleet average fuel economy improvements over the 2002 level. Source: Feng An, Energy and Transportation Technologies LLC.

Year

FIGURE 9-4. Fleet average GHG/fuel reduction over the 2002 level. Source: Feng An, Energy and Transportation Technologies LLC.

Year

FIGURE 9-4. Fleet average GHG/fuel reduction over the 2002 level. Source: Feng An, Energy and Transportation Technologies LLC.

The international comparison clearly highlighted the fact that the fuel economy and GHG emission performance of the U.S. automobile fleet— both historically and projected based on current policies—lag behind most other nations. The United States not only has the lowest standards in terms of fleet-average fuel economy rating and the highest GHG emission rates based on the EU testing procedure but also has the lowest percentage improvement targets in the foreseeable future.

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