On 20 November 2012, GIZ and the China Automotive Engineering Research Institute (CAERI) jointly organised the Sino-German Workshop on the Assessment of the Energy Consumption of Electric Vehicles together with the International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT, co-organiser). The workshop took place at the InterContinental Hotel in Beijing and was hosted under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation Concerning the Fuel Economy of Vehicles by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as well as the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MIIT).
At the workshop, representatives from the relevant departments of the BMU and MIIT discussed with international experts and scholars:
- the environmental impact of upstream emissions associated to charging electric vehicles (EVs),
- assessment methodologies for EV energy consumption, and
- regulatory approaches to the energy consumption of electric vehicles.
In particular, international approaches to integrating EVs in vehicle efficiency standards, such as the US Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) programme, Chinese light-duty vehicle fuel consumption standards, and European CO2 emission standards, were discussed and related to the climate impact of EV upstream emissions. Representatives of Chinese, German, and American automobile manufacturers contributed to the subsequent discussion and presented their approaches on EV energy efficiency measurements and their integration in vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards.
The experts at the workshop concluded that increasingly stringent vehicle efficiency standards for internal combustion engine vehicles will inevitably lead to a higher degree of electrification in the automobile fleet. At the moment, the energy consumed by EVs or the upstream emissions associated to EV charging are not adequately accounted for in the relevant vehicle standards. This poses a significant challenge to policy-makers and car manufacturers alike in order to render electric vehicles as environmentally and climate-friendly as possible. In the short term, EV energy consumption and/or upstream emissions are likely to remain excluded from vehicle efficiency standards. In the medium to long term, however, they will eventually be included, for instance by assigning EVs fuel-equivalent consumption based on their energy consumption or by changing the metric for all passenger vehicle standards to greenhouse gas emissions (gCO2/km) or energy consumption (J/km).