White paper

Fuel consumption reduction technologies for the two-wheeler fleet in India

The shift from carburetor technology to fuel injection that has come with the implementation of India’s Bharat Stage VI emission standards provides the basis from which to consider other incremental technologies for fuel efficiency improvement in the two-wheeler segment, which currently consumes more gasoline than all other forms of on-road transport combined. There are many technologies available that can achieve this, and to promote widespread adoption of them, India needs to adopt a fuel consumption/CO2 standard for two-wheelers.

To identify realistic fuel consumption targets for small motorcycles, large motorcycles, and scooters, and for the two-wheeler fleet overall, this paper evaluates the cost-effectiveness and the payback period of different internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle technologies. A variety of ICE technology packages were designed, with increasing numbers of fuel efficiency technologies, for each of the three segments. The authors also include an electric two-wheeler (E2W) with a range of 100 kilometers (km) for a small motorcycle and 75 km for a scooter as one of the technology packages for each of those segments.

While a transition to electric two-wheelers seems inevitable, results show there are opportunities in the interim to obtain better efficiency from ICE pathways. Even the most fuel-efficient segment of the two-wheeler fleet, small motorcycles, has the potential to further reduce fuel consumption up to 42% using ICE technologies alone. The analysis of manufacturer costs, detailed in the table below, further shows that a mandated fleet average level of 25.3 grams (g) of CO2/km for the two-wheeler fleet can be expected to drive 32% E2W penetration in the new two-wheeler fleet by 2025. Setting a fleet average target of 20.5 gCO2/km in 2030 could achieve fuel consumption reductions of 50% in the two-wheeler fleet and a cost-effective penetration of 62% E2Ws. Adoption of stringent fuel consumption standards will give a clearer signal to vehicle manufacturers in terms of how much longer to exploit the ICE pathway and enable rapid transition to electrification.


This paper was updated on 5 March, 2021 to correct headings and several rounding errors in Tables 16–19 and in the tables in the appendix.

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