The new standard of fuel consumption limit is about to come out. Light commercial vehicles are facing a big test of "carbon reduction"


Li Yanan


Recently, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology carried out the revision of the "light commercial vehicle fuel consumption limit", compared with the current implementation of GB20997-2015, the "draft for comments" has been further optimized in terms of test methods and management system, which will have a far-reaching impact on the energy-saving technology innovation of light commercial vehicles and the transformation of new energy.


Implement single-cycle limits and average enterprise management models


China's "Light commercial vehicle Fuel consumption limit" was officially issued in 2007, and was revised for the first time in 2015; After a lapse of eight years, the second revision work was started again. The standard has played an important role in reducing the fuel consumption of light commercial vehicles, effectively promoting the introduction, application and development of advanced technologies, and significantly improving the fuel economy of light commercial vehicles.


It is reported that the revision of the standard is to achieve the goal of "by 2025, commercial vehicle fuel consumption to reach the international leading level" proposed by the "Medium and long-term development Plan of the automobile Industry." Considering the difference between domestic and foreign models and the gap in fuel consumption level, the standard drafting group comprehensively predicted that: China's light commercial vehicles in the third stage of fuel consumption and 2025 foreign advanced level gap of about 15%, the fourth stage fuel consumption limit standard should be formulated with the fuel consumption reduction as the goal, research and judge the fuel consumption requirements of various models.


At the same time, combined with the requirement of "reducing carbon dioxide emission intensity of new commercial vehicles by more than 20% in 2030 compared with 2020", the standard is increased on the basis of GB20997-2015 single-vehicle limit value, and the average management method of enterprises is increased.


In terms of indicator requirements, in order to ensure the overall reduction of fuel consumption of light commercial vehicles in China by 15% in 2025, while taking into account the flexibility mechanism brought about by the introduction of the average management method of enterprises, the draft for Comment is clear: the limit value of bicycles will be reduced by 10% on the basis of the three stages as the limit value of bicycles in the four stages; On average, enterprises reduce the fuel consumption of traditional fuel vehicles by at least 15%, combined with a certain proportion of new energy, and put forward the target requirements of an overall reduction of 21.8% in 2026 and 37% in 2030 on the basis of the three stages.


In addition, the fourth stage light commercial vehicle fuel consumption test method has also been adjusted to a certain extent, abandoning the segmented inertial loading method, using the same linear way as the passenger car fuel consumption standard in the fifth stage, so that the limit value is set more detailed, and the working condition will be converted from the original NEDC cycle to WLTC or Chinese conditions. Considering the influence of working condition switching on fuel consumption of commercial vehicles, the standard drafting group adjusted and converted the limit index according to the statistical results of different types and different quality models.


Overall, compared with the first revised version, the changes in this standard mainly include revised scope of application, determination of fuel consumption, fuel consumption limit requirements, production consistency requirements and the same type determination requirements. The calculation method of the reference value of carbon dioxide emissions, the relevant requirements of the average fuel consumption of enterprises, and the type certification report of energy consumption of hybrid electric vehicles/type certification application report are added.


Promote energy saving technology innovation for fuel vehicles


In the view of Zhong Weiping, secretary-general of the Commercial Vehicle Professional Committee of the China Automobile Circulation Association, the release of the draft aims to further reduce the fuel consumption of light commercial vehicles, which is not only conducive to China's environmental protection and the realization of the "dual carbon" goal of the commercial vehicle industry, but also of great significance to enhance national energy security.


Public data show that in 2020, vehicle fuel consumption of 227 million tons, accounting for 85% of social gasoline and diesel consumption, it is expected that with the continuous growth of car ownership in China, the proportion of automobile fuel consumption in China's oil consumption will continue to increase, resulting in energy supply and demand contradictions will be more prominent.


"Although the number of light commercial vehicles is lower than that of passenger cars, as a means of production, its bicycle fuel consumption, frequency of use, and mileage are higher than that of passenger cars, which is currently a large fuel consumer in China's road traffic." Therefore, it is necessary to further tighten the fuel consumption limit standards for light commercial vehicles to play their part in reducing CO2 emissions." Yao Chunde, a professor at Tianjin University.


"There is no doubt that strengthening the research and development and promotion of energy-saving technologies has become an inevitable way to meet the fuel consumption limit standards of light commercial vehicles in the next stage." In this regard, the relevant light commercial vehicle manufacturers must actively respond to speed up the storage of energy-saving technologies and new product research and development." The person in charge of a light commercial vehicle enterprise said.


According to the industry research carried out by the standard drafting group, in terms of energy conservation and consumption reduction, the non-electrified energy-saving technologies applied by different enterprises have different focuses, and some energy-saving technologies have been applied to a certain extent. From the comprehensive market technology research results and the effect of various energy-saving technologies, the existing technical reserves in the industry. It can achieve more than 15% reduction in fuel consumption of traditional light commercial vehicles, and support the development and implementation of the next stage of standards.


In this regard, Zhong Weiping pointed out that in the past few years, the Ministry of Transport has implemented a fuel consumption access system for operating vehicles, and introduced corresponding testing and supervision measures to promote the development of road transport vehicles in the direction of energy conservation and environmental protection. At present, each company has a certain technical reserve, can be relatively leisurely to cope with the tightening of fuel consumption limits, but the cost of compliance will certainly increase.


"In addition to the cost increase, the switching of test conditions also poses new challenges for enterprises to develop new products." Zhong Weiping further said that the current models sold on the market are basically calibrated and optimized for vehicle fuel consumption according to the current limit standards and test methods. The next stage of light commercial vehicle fuel consumption test conditions change, so that vehicle enterprises in product development, not only to consider the vehicle in the laboratory fuel consumption, but also focus on the actual operation of the fuel consumption limit, the collection of comprehensive fuel consumption performance data should be more objective and fair. In addition, the entire industry should also consider how to solve the sequence problems that may be encountered in order to prevent the problem of "vehicles can not be measured, announcements can not be made, and operating certificates can not be made" in the test process.


For some commercial vehicle companies, there may be certain difficulties and challenges in order to reach the fourth stage of fuel consumption limit requirements, but in the long run, this will urge enterprises to accelerate the pace of technological innovation, increase the potential of power train energy saving and consumption reduction mining, but also remind relevant enterprises only to continue to introduce low fuel consumption, low operating costs and cost-effective products. It is possible to seize the opportunity in the fierce competition in the light commercial vehicle market, otherwise it will face the fate of elimination.


Good development of new energy models


The implementation of the next stage of fuel consumption limit standards for light commercial vehicles will not only allow commercial vehicle enterprises to actively update and iterate on vehicle energy saving and emission reduction technologies, further tap the potential of internal combustion engines, but also effectively promote the development of new energy technologies, alternative fuels, and hybrid technologies.


In recent years, China's new energy light commercial vehicles have developed rapidly, but the market penetration rate is still less than 5%. "From the current technical conditions, the transformation of commercial vehicles to new energy is the general trend." Yao Chunde pointed out that the fourth stage of the fuel consumption limit standard for light commercial vehicles is ready to come out, which will undoubtedly play a certain role in the development of electric commercial vehicles.


"Considering the stricter fuel consumption limits for light commercial vehicles in the next stage, it may lead some commercial vehicle manufacturers and suppliers to give up research and development of energy-saving technologies for diesel vehicles and turn their efforts to the field of new energy vehicles." According to industry insiders, at present, many commercial vehicles and internal combustion engine companies have turned their attention to pure electric, hybrid, methanol, hydrogen and other fields, began to take the power diversification development route, with the next stage of light commercial vehicles fuel consumption limit standard implementation time is approaching, the whole industrial chain of commercial vehicles or will accelerate the transformation to electrification.


It is worth noting that in order to continuously reduce the fuel consumption of light commercial vehicles and effectively promote the development of new energy vehicles, the draft for Comments gives the fuel consumption limits and the annual requirements for the average fuel consumption of enterprises, and after the standard is issued and implemented, the limits will be used as vehicle access management requirements. The annual requirement for the average fuel consumption of enterprises will be implemented in conjunction with the future commercial vehicle points policy.


"The introduction of enterprise average fuel consumption management methods to guide the overall fuel consumption of vehicles to reduce, not only to serve the enterprise and social economic development, but also to serve the overall planning of carbon peak." Cao Guangping, an independent researcher of new energy and intelligent connected vehicles, said that the next stage of light commercial vehicle fuel consumption limit standard will be pure electric, hybrid, fuel cell, methanol and other new energy models into the accounting, and the use of power consumption, fuel consumption according to zero calculation and other ways, is to achieve the average fuel consumption limit of enterprise models. And even one of the specific means and paths to achieve carbon peak, also provides strong support for the development of new energy technology and market expansion, and brings good news to promote the development of China's new energy light commercial vehicles.


Originally published by China Automotive News on August 22, 2023