Working Paper

Cost-benefit assessment of the China VI emission standard for new heavy-duty vehicles

The China VI standard is among the world’s most stringent HDV emission standards and combines best practices from both European and U.S. regulations. It will be a key pathway to clean up diesel emissions and is therefore a critical step toward winning the war against air pollution in China.

According to our analysis, the China VI standard will reduce emissions of four major ambient air pollutants—including CO, HC, NOX, and PM—by approximately 1,327 thousand metric tons, 86 thousand metric tons, 4,512 thousand metric tons, and 159 thousand metric tons, respectively, in 2030. These emission reductions would help decrease the national annual average PM2.5 and ground-level ozone pollution concentrations by 1.04 μg/m3 and 0.93 ppb, respectively, in 2030.

The improved air quality would curtail the incidence of premature mortality caused by PM2.5 and ground-level ozone exposure, especially in urban areas. As a result, at least 29,200 premature deaths and 17,350 hospital admissions would be avoided annually in 2030. The health benefits from implementing China VI are valued at $57 billion (378 billion yuan) at a technology upgrade cost of $2.8 billion (18.4 billion yuan) annually in the year of 2030, with a benefit-to-cost ratio of 21:1 and annual net benefit of $54 billion (360 billion yuan), indicating that it is a very cost-effective standard.

Annual benefits and costs of China VI vehicle emission control in 2030.
Annual benefits and costs of China VI vehicle emission control in 2030