programs / Passenger Vehicles


The reductions in passenger vehicle emissions that have been achieved since the mid-twentieth century are a great environmental success story. Government regulation of tailpipe emissions and private investments in breakthrough technologies such as the three-way catalytic converter have reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons by 75 to 90 percent at a relatively small cost to consumers. Since California first established emission standards for passenger vehicles in the 1960s, different regulatory approaches have been adopted by the United States, Japan, and Europe, and each has been emulated to some degree in other parts of the world. Significant work remains to replicate these successes throughout the rest of the global fleet.

The massive impact of passenger vehicles on climate also remains to be addressed. The transportation sector is responsible for about one-quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Passenger vehicles account for just under half of this total, and will remain the predominant source of these emissions for the foreseeable future.

Featured Work



Recently Released

From laboratory to road: A 2014 update
Extends an analysis of the gap between official and real-world fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for passenger cars in Europe, which reached 38% in 2013 and continues to grow at an accelerated pace.
White paper
Policy update: Bharat Stage IV emission standards for two-wheelers in India
Overview of the standards that take effect for type approval of new motorcycles in April 2016, and for all motorcycles in April 2017. The standards tighten HC+NOX limits by 23%–60%, and adopt the Worldwide Harmonized Motorcycle...
Policy update
Working paper



1st impression: Mark Phelan drives the 2015 Ford F-150
The remaining big questions will be the engine's EPA fuel...

Mercedes-Benz lowers mpg on two models
“With EPA oversight, Mercedes conducted new emissions and fuel...

No such thing as safe <b>air pollution</b> levels
An additional 6,000 Australians will die annually of respiratory...

Baton Rouge Metro Council to weigh in on federal air quality standards
Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso is asking the council...

Press roundup, September 2014
Aftenposten 09/01 Nye biler bruker 22...

[Press release] Gap between reported and actual fuel economy higher than ever before
The gap between official and real world fuel-economy figures has...

[Press release] Announcement of Global Green Freight Action Plan
On September 23, at the UN Secretary General's Climate...

Black Carbon Expert Tami Bond Awarded 2014 MacArthur "Genius" Grant
Today the ICCT celebrates the announcement that Tami Bond, a...

From the ICCT Blogs

Canada's Environment Minister announces new regulatory measures for vehicles and fuels
Three new regulatory initiatives announced by Minister Leona Aglukkaq will reduce GHG emissions and improve the environmental performance of both the light- and heavy-duty vehicle fleets.
Staff Blog
A trend that can’t continue: The gap between official and real CO2 reductions from Europe’s passenger car fleet keeps growing
We've just released an update to our study of the discrepancy between offiical and real-world CO2 emissions from passenger cars in the EU. The bad news: the gap continues to increase, and at an accelerating rate: for private cars it rose to 31 percent in 2013, and for company cars (a large proportion of the fleet in Europe) the gap is even greater, 45 percent in 2013.
Staff Blog
Staff Blog

The Staff

Anup Bandivadekar
Anup Bandivadekar
Program Director / India Lead
John German
John German
Senior Fellow / US Co-Lead
Hui He
Hui He
Senior Policy Analyst / China Co-Lead
Fanta Kamakaté
Fanta Kamakaté
Chief Program Officer
Peter Mock
Peter Mock
Europe Managing Director / EU Lead