Corning’s Global Vehicle Emissions, Engine Efficiency & Emission Control Review

05.01.18 | Blog | By:

The best and most succinct roundup and summary of global vehicle emissions regulations, engine efficiency, and emission control and developments surrounding these issues comes to us on an annual basis, as many of you know, from Corning Incorporated. At the recent annual Society of Engineers (SAE) meeting in Detroit, Corning presented their 2018 SAE paper (2018-01-0329) reviewing 2017 developments. Following below are a few key highlights that I think would be of most interest to readers, which I have been given permission to reproduce.

  • Fuel efficiency and GHG emission standards are being advanced across the world. For light-duty vehicles, 3-6% reductions in tailpipe CO2 are required per year, to meet the 2025-2030 standards, shown in the figure below. Europe is the tightest, targeting 30% reduction in 2030, compared to limits of 95 g-CO2/km for passenger cars in 2020. China finalized the New Energy Vehicle (NEV) mandate policy, requiring auto manufacturers to achieve 10% NEV credits in 2019 and 12% in 2020 via production of plug-ins, full battery electric and fuel cell vehicles. (See posts 4, 2018 (U.S.); Mar. 20, 2018 (China); Nov. 13, 2017 (global); Nov. 9, 2017 (EU))

  • Projections indicate tight CO2 regulations will require some degree of hybridization and/or high-performing gasoline and diesel engines. Scoping work on heavy-duty engines is reported on achieving 55% break thermal efficiency using methods that can reasonably be commercialized.
  • In Europe, meeting the criteria pollutant limits on real-world driving emissions (RDE) testing is required for new type approvals for passenger cars and vans. The fourth and final package of RDE is expected in 2018 and will address in-service compliance. China is following closely, and several major cities are planning to adopt China 6 regulations ahead of the nationwide timing in 2020. Greater emphasis is placed on in-use compliance via OBD and remote sensing. (See posts 30, 2017; Jan. 17, 2017)

  • China VI heavy-duty regulations are also expected to be implemented in 2020. A supplementary national standard was issued which requires PEMS testing for new China V type approvals. China’s Tier 4 non-road regulations are also expected to be implemented in 2020. These will include DPF enforcing PN limits and PEMS testing, and a revised version of the regulations is expected in 2018. India is expected to implement Euro Stage IV and Stage V equivalent standards for non-road diesel engines in 2020 and 2023, respectively. In the U.S., work is in progress towards developing California’s HD low-NOx standard.
  • A combination of advanced IC engine technologies and electrification is being pursued to meet post-2025 CO2 targets, shown in the figure below. The first application of gasoline compression ignition was announced by Mazda, with 20-30% reported fuel economy gains. Other lean, low temperature combustion modes are being advanced.

  • Progress is reported on reducing engine out emissions via improved combustion and fuel additives, but factors such as fuel variability (particularly high aromatics content), lower ambient temperatures, and injector deposits can affect these negatively over the vehicle lifetime. GPF technology is seen to be essential for GDI (and also some MPI) vehicles to meet the PN regulations, especially under real world driving conditions.

The SAE paper is available for purchase here.


Tammy Klein is a consultant and strategic advisor providing market and policy intelligence and analysis on transportation fuels to the auto and oil industries, governments, and NGOs. She writes and advises on petroleum fuels, biofuels, alternative fuels, automotive fuels, and fuels policy.