Policy update

China V gasoline and diesel fuel quality standards

In February 2013, China’s State Council called for nationwide desulfurization of gasoline and diesel fuel to a maximum sulfur content of 10 parts-per-million (ppm) by the end of 2017. Over the course of the remainder of 2013, regulatory agencies in China translated the State Council’s directive into formal regulatory language. Ultimately, three new standards were issued: China IV diesel (50 ppm) in February 2013, China V diesel (10 ppm) in June 2013, and China V gasoline (10 ppm) in December 2013. Together, these standards lay out a roadmap for improving China’s nationwide fuel to world-class quality. The improved fuel will reduce emissions from all motor vehicles while enabling advanced emission control technologies to be deployed, yielding critical reductions in the air pollution impacts from China’s vehicle fleet.

This policy update summarizes the historical and future timelines for China’s nationwide fuel quality improvement, including comparison with corresponding vehicle emission standard implementation, reviews the key changes made in each of the recently issued standards, introduces the fiscal policy measures China has announced to encourage the supply of these higher quality fuels, and compares China’s standards with multiple international precedents.