Meeting South Africa’s New Passenger Vehicle CO₂ Emission Standards: the Technology Deployment Costs, Fuel Savings, and Consumer Benefits

In October 2018 South Africa's Department of Transport adopted the Green Transport Strategy (GTS). The GTS is a governmental guidance document on ways toward the decarbonization of the country’s transportation sector. Fuel-efficiency standards for CO₂ emissions for new vehicles are one of the programs' central features. This paper shows how potential standards scenarios could be implemented, the implications for technology adoption, and associated costs. In 2015 the South African vehicle fleet averaged 148 grams (g) of carbon dioxide per kilometer (CO₂/km). The authors assume two possible courses of action for implementation of CO₂ emission standards for new vehicles: 1) improving the average fleet to 120 g CO₂/km by 2025, 2) or to 95 g CO₂/km by 2030. These represent a 19% and 36% reduction in fleet fuel consumption respectively. To assess the technological requirements for these scenarios, the authors modified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Optimization Model for Reducing Emissions of Greenhouse Gases from Automobiles (OMEGA), which calculates technology costs and benefits of fuel-efficiency standards. OMEGA predicts that for the average South African vehicle, most of the efficiency gains could be achieved by improvements to conventional technologies such as aerodynamic drag and low rolling-resistance tires, with advanced powertrains such as those found in electric and hybrid vehicles. The average costs and benefits under both targets were summarized using EPA and ICCT technology cost estimates. The currency used is the South African Rand (R). The average technology cost to meet the 120 g CO₂/km target is R 4,601–7,059 per vehicle. The average cost to meet 95 g CO₂/km is R5,065–23,112. In both cases, consumers will see savings in one to three years, due to lower fuel costs. However, the 95 g CO₂/km target more than doubles the total fuel and net savings of the 120 g CO₂/km target. Adopting new vehicle CO₂ emission standards or fuel-efficiency standards, would result in large economic gains for consumers and the general economy, as it would reduce the need to import petroleum. In 2017 South Africa imported 1.9 billion liters of gasoline; the authors’ analysis found that annual fuel savings from fuel efficiency standards would reach 0.8–1.3 billion liters by 2030 and 2.5–4.1 billion liters by 2050. By adopting the standards, the fuel saved by passenger cars in 2030 would be more than half of today’s imports, doubling by 2050. Large funds for international transactions would be freed for redirection into the national economy. The savings under the 95 g CO₂/km target translate to more than R 20 billion by 2030 and nearly R 80 billion by 2050. The fuel savings also correspond to a 12% reduction in annual CO₂ emissions by 2030.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 14p
  • Serial:
    • ACRP Report
    • Issue Number: 63
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 1935-9802
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01711936
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309214018
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 30 2019 2:16PM