This working paper assesses technology progress and new developments in vehicle technologies, including lightweighting, active aerodynamics, and low rolling resistance tires in China.
In general, China’s lightweighting technology development is shifting from focusing only on materials to also considering integrated mass-optimization design. Lightweighting materials include strength steel, advanced high strength steel, aluminum alloy, magnesium alloy, and plastic and polymer composites are at different stages of development, but seen more and more applied on vehicles in China. In its Energy Saving and New-Energy Vehicle Technology Roadmap, SAE China set a goal of reducing curb weight from 2015 levels by 10% by 2020, 20% by 2025, and 35% by 2030 (SAE China, 2016). This mass reduction target would be achieved through increased application of lightweighting and mass optimization design.
In additional to design improvements to reduce aerodynamic drag, an emerging technology is active grille shutters. Active grille shutters have already been implemented in China by some joint ventures with European and American partners. Chang’an Ford introduced AGS on its 2012 Focus and later on its Kuga models. GAC-FCA introduced a domestically produced 2016 Cherokee that included AGS on most versions. Other examples include the BMW 530i and the Buick Lacrosse eAssist.
This paper is one of a series of ICCT working paper that aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current availability, effectiveness, and future market penetration of key fuel-efficiency technologies that manufacturers are likely to use in China by 2030. This information enables a more accurate, China-specific understanding of future technology pathways.