Green Vehicle Rating for Two Wheelers and Three Wheelers in India

Background

Fast-paced urbanisation and rising per capita incomes have seen an exponential increase in demand for mobility to move people and goods. This, in turn, has seen a sharp rise in ownership of motor vehicles – particularly 2 and 3 wheelers.

The surge in motorised vehicle ownership comes with grave ramifications. This will not only increase the burden on fuel sources and oil imports, but also impact greenhouse gas emissions that are critical for India to meet its NDC targets. Additionally, this will further compound the environmental concerns of air pollution in Indian cities which already account for ten of the twenty most polluted cities in the world. All these factors will impose heavy costs on the economic output and public health of the country. IEA has noted that energy related air pollution, in which the transportation sector plays a dominant role, has cost India about USD 160 billion in 2009.

Several top-down policy, planning initiatives and upcoming standards and labelling for energy efficient cars are gaining momentum. However, despite the sizeable share of two and three wheelers in petrol and diesel sales in India, there is a gap in the efforts to address the emissions and energy consumption in these segments. There is a clear need for rating the environmental performance of these vehicles in India to educate and inform consumers, to enable them to keep in mind the impact their purchasing decision would have on the environment.

There are several international precedents of environmental rating for vehicles such as in the United States (ACEEE’s Green Score), US Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Vehicle Guide, Australia (Green Vehicle Guide), Belgium (Eco-Score), the United Kingdom (Green Car Rating), Eco Vehicles Rating (Mexico). No environmental economics based framework has been created to rate the environmental impacts of emissions and efficiency in two and three wheelers in India.

Goal

This project aims to develop an environmental rating for two and three wheelers that will create awareness in users and shift their demand towards greener variants that rely in low emissions technology and high fuel economy. The two-wheeler segment has seen a relatively faster growth rate in comparison to other segments of motor vehicles in India – from 8.8 percent in 1951 to 73.5 percent in 2015. Of the total petrol sales in India, two wheelers consume 61.42 percent of petrol sales. The three-wheeler vehicle segment consumes about 28.48 percent of total diesel consumed by the transport sector. Collectively, they exert enormous pressure on energy security, oil imports, and environmental health from rising air pollution and carbon emissions.

Approach

  • This project will rate top selling 10-15 models in two and three-wheeler segments based on fuel economy and pollutant levels.
  • The ratings will be disseminated through a consumer oriented web portal that they will be able to use while deciding to buy vehicles.
  • The methods used will be translated into simple language that consumers can easily understand and feel confident about the logic behind the rating.

Benefits of Rating

  • Recognises the top performers – greenest 2W and 3W – in the auto market
  • Enable consumers in taking more informed decisions that lean towards opting for low emission two and three wheelers vehicle models
  • Contribute to offsetting transport related oil imports in India
  • Enable policy makers to identify the cleanest and greenest passenger car models and inform policy decisions while creating the right mix of regulations and incentives to stimulate lowering of emissions and increase in fuel economy and create a level playing field for automakers to roll out efficient products.

With two wheelers comprising nearly three fourths of the total vehicles fleet in India as of 2015, reducing emissions and fuel consumption in this segment of transportation sector will also pay huge dividends in achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals #7: Affordable and clean energy, #3 good health and well-being and #11 sustainable cities and communities, along with helping India stay on track with NDC targets of reducing emissions by 33-35 percent from 2005 levels.

Main Outcomes

  • Developing an environmental performance rating for two and three-wheeler vehicles
  • Disseminating the environmental performance ratings to target audiences on a web platform
  • HDV chassis dynamometer tests

Expected Impact

In the mid-term, the environmental rating for two and three wheelers will give consumers more awareness on the environmental costs of their vehicle purchase, and comparative performance of models in the two and three-wheeler segments. The environmental rating will help in segregating the two and three wheeled vehicles based on emissions and energy consumption.

In the longer term, as consumers account for the environment in their vehicle purchase decisions with the help of this rating, it will transform the market and push the auto industry to prioritise environmental impacts of vehicles as they develop technologies and manufacture vehicles.

The cumulative reduction in emissions and fuel consumption in the two and three-wheeler segment will benefit energy security, energy related pollution impacts on citizens and in the emissions reduction targets of India.

AEEE is supported by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, ACEEE, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)