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Chinese government tightens fuel efficiency regulations for light commercial vehicles

In addition to fuel efficiency regulations for passenger car producers and importers, China has also implemented NEV credit regulations aimed at increasing the proportion of new energy vehicles (NEVs) produced and sold. In parallel with the current system, similar regulations are being introduced for light commercial vehicles, which are used more frequently and consume more fuel than passenger cars.

In July 2023, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of China published a draft revision of the fuel consumption regulations for light-duty commercial vehicles. According to the draft, the revisions are planned to be implemented from January 2026.

The main changes in the revision are: 1) The fuel consumption limit values for each vehicle type will be 10% stricter than the current Tier 3 fuel consumption limit. If the fuel consumption values exceed the regulation values (poor fuel economy), the same product cannot be produced or sold; 2) the test cycle will switch from the current NEDC to WLTC; 3) the calculation of company average fuel consumption, which is required for passenger car companies, will now also be required for light commercial vehicle companies. It is envisaged that in the future, with a view to introducing commercial vehicle credit regulations, company average fuel consumption regulations will be established and NEV regulations will be implemented. A certain percentage of NEV credits may be required, as in the case of passenger cars.