Working Paper

New two-wheeler vehicle fleet in India for fiscal year 2017–18

Two-wheelers are by far the largest segment of the automobile market in India. With annual sales of more than 20 million in both fiscal year (FY) 2017–18 and FY 2018–19, two-wheelers dwarfed the sales of passenger vehicles, which were approximately 3.4 million in FY 2018–19. Unsurprisingly, then, two-wheelers are becoming an increasingly large portion of India’s transportation fuel consumption. That such vehicles are not currently subject to fuel efficiency standards contributes to this.

A baseline of the market for new two-wheelers is needed before India can craft effective fuel economy regulations. To help, the authors developed a database of new two-wheelers sold in FY 2017–18 and then analyzed fleet characteristics and fuel consumption. Among the key findings are that 85% of the market is Class 1 two-wheelers with engine size below 150 cubic centimeters and maximum speed below 100 kilometers (km) per hour. The average fuel consumption of the new two-wheelers sold in FY 2017–18 was 1.74 liters per 100 km, but results also show a wide range fuel consumption levels for two-wheeler models with similar weight and power. This indicates there is the potential for technology improvements in less-efficient models. Additionally, because the top 10 best-selling two-wheeler models accounted for 55% of the market and top-selling manufacturers Hero MotoCorp, Honda, TVS, and Bajaj accounted for 89% of sales, efficiency technology improvements in popular two-wheeler models and/or technology innovations from main suppliers would produce a noticeable reduction in the fleet average fuel consumption.