Improving fuel efficiency for heavy-duty vehicles of 3.5–12 tonnes in India: Benefits, costs, and environmental impacts

This analysis examines the benefits and costs of fuel-saving technologies for new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) in India over the next 10 years and explores how various scenarios for the deployment of vehicles with these technologies will impact petroleum consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions out to 2050. This study focuses on HDVs less than 12 tonnes and is an extension of a previous analysis that looked at HDVs greater than 12 tonnes.

The project team developed simulation models in Autonomie for two representative HDV types—a 11.9-tonne rigid truck, and 7.5-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 two 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 reveal that per-vehicle fuel consumption reductions of up to 30% 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 United States  and European Union 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 2050, the fuel and CO2 reductions of the scenarios range from 10% to 38%.