Improved heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency in India: Benefits, costs and environmental impacts

Published: 2017.01.20
By

Karali, Nihan, Anand R. Gopal (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Ben Sharpe, Oscar Delgado, Anup Bandivadekar, and Mehul Garg (ICCT)

The main objectives of this analysis are to examine the benefits and costs of fuel-saving technologies for new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) in India over the next 10 years and, to explore how various scenarios for the deployment of vehicles with these technologies will impact petroleum consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over the next three decades. The study team developed simulation models for three representative HDV types—a 40-tonne tractor-trailer, 25-tonne rigid truck, and 16-tonne transit bus—based on top-selling vehicle models in the Indian market. The baseline technology profiles for all three vehicles were developed using India-specific engine data and vehicle specification information from manufacturer literature and input from industry experts. For each of the three vehicles we developed a comprehensive set of seven efficiency technology packages drawing from five major areas: engine, transmission and driveline, tires, aerodynamics, and weight reduction. Our analysis finds that India has substantial opportunity to improve HDV fuel efficiency levels using cost-effective technologies. Results from our simulation modeling of three representative HDV types—a tractor-trailer, rigid truck, and transit bus—reveal that per-vehicle fuel consumption reductions between roughly 20% and 35% are possible with technologies that provide a return on the initial capital investment within 1 to 2 years. Though most of these technologies are currently unavailable in India, experiences in other more advanced markets such as the US and EU suggest that with sufficient incentives and robust regulatory design, significant progress can be made in developing and deploying efficiency technologies that can provide real-world fuel savings for new commercial vehicles in India over the next 10 years. Bringing HDVs in India up to world-class technology levels will yield substantial petroleum and GHG reductions. By 2030, the fuel and CO2 reductions of the scenarios range from 10% to 34%, and at the end of 2050, these reductions grow to 13% and 41%. If we constrain the analysis to select the most efficient technology package that provides the fleets with payback times of 3 years or less, there are annual fleet-wide savings of roughly 11 MTOE of diesel and 34 MMT of CO2 in 2030, and this grows to 31 MTOE and 97 MMT by 2050.