Projection of Chinese vehicle growth, energy demand, and emissions through 2035

Bo Zheng of the School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, projected future energy use and emissions in the transportation sector at a provincial level in China, taking account of the different growth patterns of vehicles between provinces: the outcomes are detailed in this paper.

B. Zheng

B. Zheng


The transportation sector plays an important role in urban and regional air quality in China. Projecting its future energy use and emissions have become a hot topic in the community. Previous studies usually projected emissions at the national level. This paper aims to make a finer projection at the provincial level, taking into account different growth patterns of vehicles between provinces. Oil demand and emissions are then calculated on the basis of vehicle activity at provincial level.


Vehicle fuel demand and emissions are calculated using equation (1).

where i represents vehicle categories; V is the total number of vehicles; VKT is vehicle kilometers traveled each year; FE is the fuel consumption rate per 100 km; EF is emission factor. The Gompertz function linking per capita GDP and vehicle ownership is used in this study to project vehicles for each province. The VKT and FE values come from our survey data and are projected for future (Huo et al., 2011; Huo et al., 2012). The EF value is calculated by the IVE model and adjusted according to on-road measurement for the vehicle models we have measured.


In 2035  the number of total vehicles will reach 520 million, including 73% urban private cars, 10% rural private cars, 9% commercial LDVs(light duty vehicles), 1% buses, and 7% trucks. The total oil demand will reach 465 Mtoe. Emissions of CO, HC, NOx, and PM2.5 will reach 5829, 853, 7892, and 171 Gg respectively.


Vehicle ownership is increasing fast in China and will increase seven-fold over the 2010 figure in 2035. Although the central and western provinces have fewer vehicles than the eastern ones, it should be noted that they have a much faster growth rate. The large oil demand and pollutant emissions caused by the tremendous growth need to be controlled through various measures, such as implementing a new emissions standard, and restricting vehicle sales and use.


Huo, H., Yao, Z., He, K., and Yu, X.: Fuel consumption rates of passenger cars in China: Labels versus real-world, Energy Policy, 39, 7130-7135, 2011.

Huo, H., Zhang, Q., He, K., Yao, Z., and Wang, M.: Vehicle-use intensity in China: Current status and future trend, Energy Policy, 43, 6-16, 2012.


Bo Zheng is a citizen of China. He was funded by IIASA's National Member Organization for China and worked in the Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program during the YSSP.

Please note these Proceedings have received limited or no review from supervisors and IIASA program directors, and the views and results expressed therein do not necessarily represent IIASA, its National Member Organizations, or other organizations supporting the work.

Print this page

Last edited: 19 August 2015


Tanja Huber

YSSP Coordinator & Team Leader

Young Scientists Summer Program

T +43(0) 2236 807 344

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313