Improving fuel efficiency of vehicles greatly benefits consumers, the economy and the environment, but realising the potential requires policymakers and stakeholders at the national and ASEAN level to work together, a process we are supporting.
The transport sector currently takes approximately 25% of final energy consumption in the ASEAN, and a doubling in 2030 over current consumption is projected. ASEAN is also a major vehicle industry player with production over 4.4 million cars and 11 million motorcycles in 2013. Improving fuel economy of cars, motorcycles, trucks and other vehicles greatly benefits consumers, the national economy and the environment. With 30-50% potential improvement up to 2030 there is a large opportunity as well.
Many developed and developing countries have realised this and are implementing fuel economy standards, see e.g. this excellent overview. EU experience also shows such standards are not costly for industry and car prices have decreased since adoption of standards, while similar cars sold in Indonesia are 50% less efficient, burdening consumers and the economy.
As of April 2015 no ASEAN country has adopted fuel efficiency standards, however several countries are looking at such policies as well as car labelling and tax incentives, as can be seen from this overview, which was part of the Better Air Quality 2014 event on Fuel Economy and the first Experts Group Meeting on Accelerating Fuel Economy Policies in the ASEAN Region in November 2014, organised by GIZ together with Clean Air Asia and the Global Fuel Economy Initiative.
More recently Thailand has announced mandatory car labelling from 2016:
In addition to the interest at the national level, ASEAN regional policies are looking at energy efficiency. Major advantages of a regional approach are:
- Aligned with the vision of the ASEAN Economic Community to enhance efforts to tackle climate change and contribute to sustainable development, and one of the goals of the ASEAN Strategic Transport Plan 2011-2015 is to ‘establish a sustainable, energy efficient and environment-friendly transport system’
- A regional approach will provide the opportunities to exchange experiences for national governments to adopt and/or advance fuel economy policy discussions: early adoption will lead to faster realization of the benefits
- Combining car markets reduces cost for development of standards and related transactions (certification, conformity of production)
Therefore, GIZ, Clean Air Asia and GFEI are working together with national and regional experts to develop a Roadmap for Fuel Economy the ASEAN region. The work will also be guided by the ASEAN Secretariat and relevant ASEAN Working Groups or Networks.
“Only rich countries can afford not to have fuel economy standards”- Axel Friedrich