Automotive > Powertrain, Body, Chassis & Safety Blog

China and India may join the US at the fuel-sipping CAFE

by Kevin Mak | 3月 02, 2011

Recent reports suggest that fuel economy mandates, such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE), may soon be implemented in more emerging markets, while the US is to impose tougher mandates for the long term.

  • There have been conflicting reports on how China will set future fuel economy standards, but at present, minimum fuel economy standards are set for 16 different weight categories.  Plans for the next phase are to set tougher minimum levels for an averaged equivalent of 42.2 mpg (5.6 l/100 km) by 2015 (an 18 percent improvement), with reports suggesting an averaged equivalent of 52.3 mpg (4.5 l/100 km) by 2020.
  • India will also be planning a fuel economy mandate on car makers, also with varying limits depending on the weight of the vehicle.  This will replace the current Vehicle Excise Duty that varies on the size and engine capacity of the vehicle.  The change marks a shift in government policy, to persuade car makers to use technology to raise efficiency than merely to force consumers to buy smaller vehicles.
  • The US Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency are planning to raise US CAFE levels to 62 mpg by 2025, having recently implemented the 35.5 mpg level for 2012.  Consultations are under way for a possible, additional carbon dioxide (CO2) emission mandate.
  • Japan and Korea have also implemented fuel economy mandates based on vehicle footprint, while Europe has corporate average mandates on CO2 emissions.

Should more fuel economy mandates be implemented in emerging markets, this will mean that vendors have to quickly prepare to offer fuel efficiency systems at a lower cost and in greater volumes than is presently been offered to mature markets.

  • Stop-start is now being featured on almost every new model launched in Europe, since the summer of 2010, realizing greater volumes and cost reductions through economies of scale.  According to the Strategy Analytics System Demand Forecast (Q3 2010), penetration rates for these systems are rising rapidly.
  • As a result of these and other improvements, OEMs, such as FIAT and Toyota, are likely to lead the way in meeting the first European CO2 target of 130 g/km by 2012.  This is according to a report on new cars manufactured in 2009 by the European Federation for Transport and Environment
  • The recently-launched tandem starter-alternator from Denso promises a more compact solution over current belt-driven systems.  Denso’s new stop-start starter motor is also lighter than its predecessor.
  • Johnson Controls and its subsidiary, VARTA, are offering a more cost effective Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB) as well as their current Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery for stop-start applications.
  • In North America, the General Motors eAssist mild hybrid system was previewed on the Buick LaCrosse. It uses a smaller battery pack and electric motor to realize a 25 percent fuel saving over the conventional four-cylinder version.  As more unit sales come from China than from the US for GM, then eAssist may see wider deployment there.
  • At the same time, more hybrid and electric concepts are being previewed.  Chinese domestic car makers, such as Jianghuai (JAC), have launched EV models on the back of the Chinese government’s US$15bn plan to promote EV technology.  As consumers have less disposal income to purchase vehicles in China than elsewhere, then developments in hybrid and electric vehicles will be more cost driven.  For further details, go to the Strategy Analytics report, China Aims High For Plug-In Electric Vehicles.

This analysis is drawn from the latest Strategy Analytics EV/HEV Technologies Supply & Fitment Database and Hybrid Technologies Legislation/Support database.

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