White paper

One goal, multiple pathways: A review of approaches for transferring on-board fuel consumption meter data to the European Commission

The new light-duty CO2 standards require the European Commission to monitor the real-world fuel and electric energy consumption of light-duty vehicles. In order to do this, the European Commission must develop a procedure to transfer the data recorded by soon to be mandatory on-board fuel and energy consumption monitoring devices (OBFCM). This paper analyzes the data transfer requirements, the transfer pathways, the potential use cases of the OBFCM data, and how the data can be complemented with vehicle parameters needed for the analysis.

For three of the possible data transfer methodologies considered in the analysis, the data is first read from the vehicle and then transferred to the European Commission by a third party. The first method, periodic technical inspections (PTI), would not be a suitable option because they are not required for new vehicles for four years. Roadside spot checks would also not be a viable method due to the large effort required to perform the checks and the challenge of retrieving the OBFCM data for a representative number of vehicles for each model and manufacturer. Collecting the OBFCM data from managed vehicle fleets also has considerable deficiencies  because the fleet composition is not likely to be representative of the vehicle market and fleet vehicles are often driven in a nonrepresentative way.

Automatic over-the-air (OTA) transfer is the only solution that realistically allows for regular fleetwide collection of the OBFCM data. Existing telemetry hardware should be used, preferably the already mandatory eCall system, to minimize introduction lead time and cost. This option makes manufacturers responsible for the data transfer and minimizes the risk of errors during transfer. The privacy of vehicle owners can be ensured by applying cryptography principles.

To verify the accuracy of OBFCM data, an accuracy requirement should be defined for real-world testing which includes electric energy consumption. It also needs to be verified that the data reported from the vehicle to the European Commission is identical to the data measured by the OBFCM device. This verification should be done during in-service conformity checks and at the PTI. In addition to spot checks, OBFCM accuracy over longer time periods can be verified by comparing OBFCM values with, for example, fuel logbook data.

The OBFCM data can be used to develop regulatory measures to ensure that the gap between type approval and real-world CO2 emissions does not grow over time. In addition, the data can be used to determine more realistic type-approval CO2 emission values for plug-in hybrid vehicles. By publishing the anonymized raw OBFCM data, consumers can be informed about real-world fuel and energy consumption and other important research could be performed, such as analyzing the effect of vehicle age or driving conditions on CO2 emissions, or the effectiveness of eco-innovations on reducing the gap.