Methane emissions from natural gas vehicles in China

Pan Da Pan, Lei Tao, Kang Sun, Levi M. Golston, David J. Miller, Tong Zhu, Yue Qin, Yan Zhang, Denise L. Mauzerall, Mark A. Zondlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) have been promoted in China to mitigate air pollution, yet our measurements and analyses show that NGV growth in China may have significant negative impacts on climate change. We conducted real-world vehicle emission measurements in China and found high methane emissions from heavy-duty NGVs (90% higher than current emission limits). These emissions have been ignored in previous emission estimates, leading to biased results. Applying our observations to life-cycle analyses, we found that switching to NGVs from conventional vehicles in China has led to a net increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 2000. With scenario analyses, we also show that the next decade will be critical for China to reverse the trend with the upcoming China VI standard for heavy-duty vehicles. Implementing and enforcing the China VI standard is challenging, and the method demonstrated here can provide critical information regarding the fleet-level CH4 emissions from NGVs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4588
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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