Passenger vehicles

Passenger vehicles

Passenger cars, light trucks and vans, motorcycles, scooters, and other two- and three-wheeled vehicles account for about a third of global oil demand and produce about half of all transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. And while great strides have been made in controlling pollutant emissions from light-duty vehicles that contribute to local air pollution—carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particulates, other air toxins—those vehicles are still a significant cause of unhealthy air worldwide, particularly near major roadways and in urban areas with a high concentration of vehicle activity. Efficiency standards are reducing oil consumption and GHG emissions from the growing light-duty fleet, but more forceful public policy action to extend efficiency standards and complementary fiscal policies, ensure manufacturers’ real cooperation with policy goals, and support a technological transition to zero-emission vehicles is needed if we are to effectively manage the future climate and health effects of the light-duty vehicle sector.

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About the program

Passenger cars, light trucks and vans, motorcycles, scooters, and other two- and three-wheeled vehicles account for about a third of global oil demand and produce about half of all transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. And while great strides have been made in controlling pollutant emissions from light-duty vehicles that contribute to local air pollution—carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particulates, other air toxins—those vehicles are still a significant cause of unhealthy air worldwide, particularly near major roadways and in urban areas with a high concentration of vehicle activity. Efficiency standards are reducing oil consumption and GHG emissions from the growing light-duty fleet, but more forceful public policy action to extend efficiency standards and complementary fiscal policies, ensure manufacturers’ real cooperation with policy goals, and support a technological transition to zero-emission vehicles is needed if we are to effectively manage the future climate and health effects of the light-duty vehicle sector.

The ICCT’s passenger vehicle program works with regulatory agencies as well as other government officials, researchers, nongovernmental organizations, and private-sector stakeholders to reduce fuel consumption, greenhouse-gas emissions, and air pollution from the global light-duty vehicle fleet, beginning with the essential task of protecting and extending the gains that have been made through existing efficiency standards. Our research staff works to assess technology trends, evaluate benefits and costs of advanced technologies, understand and communicate best-practice knowledge of effective design of emission, fuel efficiency and GHG standards, fiscal incentives, and consumer information programs, and support a long-term technological transition to zero-emission vehicles.

Road transportation is one of the leading sources of outdoor air pollution in Southern and Western Africa, particularly in cities, where emissions from light- and heavy-duty vehicles, minibuses, buses, and two-and three-wheelers continue to negatively affect public health, making motor vehicles a central area for rapid policy response. (From Developing a roadmap for the adoption of clean fuel and vehicle standards in Southern and Western Africa.)

Recent publications

Addressing misconceptions surrounding light-vehicle fuel efficiency standards

Addresses several common misconceptions about light-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards and focuses on Australia’s proposed light-vehicle CO2 standards and the effects they may or may not have on Australian motorists.

2017.10.12 | Briefing
CO2 reduction technologies for the European car and van fleet, a 2025–2030 assessment

Finds that for cars, the cost for meeting a 2025 target value of 70 g/km (as measured in the New European Driving Cycle - NEDC) is between 250 and 500 euros higher than would be the case in a footprint-based CO2 target system.

2017.10.10 | White paper
Remote-sensing regulation for measuring exhaust pollutants from in-use diesel vehicles in China

Summarizes provisions of the first national-level remote sensing regulation adopted by China for diesel vehicles.

2017.09.19 | Policy update
See all publications

Staff blog

Technology Leapfrog: Or, all recent auto technology forecasts underestimate how fast innovation is happening

Technology is coming at astounding rates and the current 2025 standards will not be difficult to meet at a cost a lot less than anybody has forecast. When NHTSA and EPA reevaluate the “appropriateness” of the 2025 standards, we would hope they take this information, and the underlying trend of accelerating technology innovation, into account.

Staff

Program Director / Regional Lead
Senior Fellow / Regional Co-Lead
Senior Researcher / Regional Lead
Chief Program Officer
Program Director / Regional Co-Lead
Peter Mock
EU Managing Director / Regional Lead
Peter Slowik
Associate Researcher