Working Paper

Fuel consumption of new passenger cars in India: Manufacturers’ performance in fiscal year 2018–19

India’s first fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles began in fiscal year (FY) 2017–18 and they are scheduled to get more stringent in FY 2022–23. This paper evaluates the performance of new vehicles sold in FY 2018–19 against the current and future standards, and also considers the impact of flexibility mechanisms on manufacturers’ compliance. The analysis is based on data from Segment Y Automotive Intelligence Pvt. Ltd., the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, and manufacturer websites and advertisements. Additionally, the authors compare the results with the summary compliance report published by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

Manufacturers have already made significant progress toward compliance with India’s FY 2022–23 standards, which are much less stringent than the European Union’s 2021 standards. Assuming that the fleet average curb weight remains the same as FY 2018–19, the new passenger car fleet will need to reduce CO2 emissions/fuel consumption by only 9.8% in the next four years, or about 2.55% annually. Given this, MoRTH should start to develop significantly more stringent post-FY 2022–23 standards. Moreover, although the impact of super credits for CO2-reducing technologies is currently minimal, as it grows, MoRTH should publish detailed compliance information to make their impact more transparent; this would allow for discussion about whether technologies that reach wide commercialization could be removed from the list of those qualifying for the credits.