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Vehicle ownership in India is a relatively new phenomenon. As a result, and due to its large population, India has very low per capita transportation emissions. But the nation’s vehicle fleet is growing rapidly—vehicle sales increased from 2 million in 2007 to 2.26 million in 2009—and will continue to expand significantly over the next decade.
India has the largest light duty fleet in the world without efficiency standards. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is considering mandating a 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption by 2020 for LDVs, which would result in an average fuel consumption of 20 km/L for the new vehicle fleet. This standard would open the door to energy efficiency standards for two- and three-wheelers and heavy-duty vehicles—segments of the transportation sector that consume more fuel consumption in India than passenger vehicles.
Air pollution, particularly in the form of particulate matter (PM) and its black carbon (BC) component, is a serious challenge facing India. 87% of residential PM monitors reported average annual PM concentrations higher than the national standard in 2008. According to the World Health Organization, some half a million people in India die prematurely each year from diseases directly related to air pollution.
Vehicle emission standards have aided progress over the last decade. India implemented Euro IV equivalent standards in 13 major cities and Euro III standards in the rest of the country in 2010. The ICCT is working with Indian officals to further strengthen these regulations to Euro 6 standards for light-duty vehicles by 2015 and Euro VI standards for heavy-duty vehicles by 2015.