“Promoting energy efficiency is a top priority”

    China is the world´s largest emitter of CO2, but at the same time also at the forefront of electro mobility. Claes Svedberg, President of Volvo (China) Investment Co. Ltd., explains upcoming regulations and efficiency trends on the Chinese market.


    Market: China.

    Emissions per capita: About 6.7 metric tonnes. (In comparison with Sweden [5.5], and the US [17.0)].)

    Energy structure: Still heavily dependant on fossil fuels, of which coal accounts for over 60 per cent. 

    Number of heavy New Energy Vehicles, NEV:s, sold between 2011-2015: Over 160,000, of which 77 per cent were in 2015.

    Emission Regulations for heavy duty vehicles: Currently there are two managerial systems regulating CO2 regulations in China. These are managed by Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Information, Industry and Technology.

    How important is energy efficiency to China? 

    “Since China has now started to switch to a more consumption-oriented economy, there is no doubt that reducing CO2 emissions and promoting energy efficiency is a top priority. The country has promised to reach CO2 emission peak by 2030. Since the energy consumption structure in China is highly reliant on fossil fuel, the primary focus is to reduce the dependency on coal generated energy in the industrial sector, which accounts for around 70 per cent of the country’s total CO2 emissions. In comparison, the same figure for the transport industry accounts for less than 10 per cent.”

    Why is China working on a new fuel economy legislation for heavy-duty vehicles? 

    “Current CO2 emission legislation in China is regulated by fuel economy regulations (maximum consumption limit/100km). Since China needs to import for about half of the country’s oil consumption, fuel efficiency is a priority for the entire industry. This in turn drives the enforcements of CO2 emissions. At the moment, two ministries (see factbox) are working on revising the fuel economy regulation to further reduce 20 per cent of fuel consumption based on current value. There is no specific timeline provided, but one reason to accelerate this process could be to meet the upcoming US CO2 emission law enforcement planned for 2020.” 

    In terms of future energy efficiency, what are the trends in the Chinese transport sector? 

    “In 2009 the Chinese government adopted a plan to seize the growing New Energy Vehicle (NEV) market in manufacturing of all-electric and hybrid vehicles. Today, China is the world’s leader in the plug-in heavy-duty segment, including plug-in trucks and particularly sanitation/garbage trucks. A self-sustained business model is not yet ready since infrastructures for charging stations and other auxiliary facilities need to be developed, but it is an interesting area. The country is also running pilots on the European Modular System to increase load capacity, since China currently runs inefficient transports on its amazing and high standard road net. High capacity transports could therefore likely become an important way to reduce carbon footprints.” 

    What effects could these trends have for the rest of the world?

    “China is a major energy consumer in the world and can, with its energy policies, have an impact not only on China but globally. In considering China’s market size and its manufacturing capacities, we can expect spill-over effects both in terms of products and technology standards. It means that policies and regulations for alternative fuels, electrification and energy efficiency in the transport sector is of great importance for the region and globally. With a growing need for transports and limited resources for renewable fuels, energy efficiency will be of greatest importance.” 

    How does Volvo Trucks adapt its product and services to meet the future needs of a more energy efficient society?

    “At Volvo Trucks we work continuously with fuel efficiency, both through technological development and by training drivers in eco-driving. Even though a Volvo truck is today significantly more fuel efficient than 20 years ago, there is still potential to reduce fuel consumption further. This will be done with continuous improvement of the drive line as well as in the future use hybridisation. We also see further potential in areas like aerodynamics and tyres that a new regulation could support.” 

    Text Linda Thomsen Högfeldt  Photo Mathias Magg

    Other, Trucks & technology, Fuel efficiency, Industry update, Environment, Fuel Management Services, Other
    Energy efficiency, CO2 emissions, China, Claes Svedberg