China / Society

Hopes of meeting vehicle fuel targets pinned on 'new energy' cars

By Wang Yanfei ( Updated: 2015-12-16 10:44

The national average fuel consumption target for passenger cars might be met by the end of the year as scheduled, as long as new energy cars, such as electric vehicles and hybrids, grabbed a larger share of the 2015 market, experts said.

"Average fuel consumption of vehicles shows a declining trend in general since the standard was introduced in 2005, but the speed of the reduction is slowing down," said An Feng, founder of the Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation, adding that fuel consumption of domestic independent brands ticked up in the last year.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology requires all passenger car manufacturers to meet an overall fleet-average fuel consumption target of 6.9 liters per 100 km by the end of this year.

An annual report released by the center earlier this month said the average fuel consumption of passenger cars declined by 1 liter per 100 km in the eight years from 2006 to 2014, falling only 2 percent. By the end of 2014, the average fuel consumption of cars produced by foreign brands was around 9.5 liters per 100 km, while the average for domestic brands was 7.5 liters per 100 km.

"Even though we have yet to collect data in 2015, foreign and domestic manufactures have a relatively high pressure to meet the target," An said. "We failed to see strong motivations for traditional car manufacturers to upgrade technology in the past a few years. Hope lies in new energy cars. If we could see a larger share of new energy cars in the future, near zero consumption could balance out the higher fuel consumption of traditional cars."

Ou Xunmin, deputy director of the China Automotive Energy Research Center at Tsinghua University, said that producers of new energy cars have stronger motivations, through governmental policy support, to further upgrade technology and improve efficiency.

Production of new energy passenger cars is expected to reach 120,000 in 2015, leading to an estimated reduction of fuel consumption 0.2 liters per 100 km, the report said.

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