Car emissions data released

The carbon footprints of nearly 1,400 Chinese cars have been published on what China Daily calls “the world’s first automotive carbon footprint platform”.

The Carbon Publicity Platform (CPP) will enable the creation of emission labels for cars, thereby helping consumers identify low-carbon options and the auto industry align with national decarbonisation goals.

CPP includes data from all stages of a car’s lifecycle, including raw materials production, vehicle manufacturing, use, maintenance, scrapping, and recycling.

The initial batch of published data gives electric vehicles the smallest carbon footprint, emitting 192.75 grams of CO2 per kilometre, and diesel vehicles the largest, at 399.07 grams.

Chinese auto companies have had a hard time calculating carbon footprints due to lack of data, particularly regarding material inputs, said Zhao Dongchang, president of the China Automotive Carbon Digital Technology Centre, which runs CPP. 

Zhao explained that the absence of carbon footprint estimates has caused some importing countries, such as the EU, to penalise Chinese cars by giving them a default, large value.

CPP uses a model called “enterprise declaration + third-party accounting”, in which both upstream raw material producers and downstream car manufacturers file and submit relevant data.  

Another platform developed by the Centre – the China Industrial Carbon Emissions Information System (CICES) – then collects carbon emission data and completes the footprint calculation.

Zhao said the CPP allows public supervision of the industry, and could impact consumer behaviour as awareness of carbon emissions grows.

Read China Dialogue’s recent article on why better data is key to the success of China’s carbon market.

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