United States

United States

The United States pioneered the regulation of vehicle air pollutant emissions and fuel economy in the 1960s and 1970s, and it has carried on since then with far-sighted, well-designed, effective regulations and policies to control air pollution from light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles, push manufacturers to design and build more efficient cars and trucks, and promote renewable and low-carbon fuels and zero-emission vehicles. Over that half-century it has also seen policy ambition ebb and flow, as the initiative has passed from one group of stakeholders to another. With a dynamic economy driving innovation in engineering, design, manufacturing, and information technology, it remains an essential testing ground—and proving ground—for clean vehicle and fuels policy.

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About the program

The United States pioneered the regulation of vehicle air pollutant emissions and fuel economy in the 1960s and 1970s, and it has carried on since then with far-sighted, well-designed, effective regulations and policies to control air pollution from light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles, push manufacturers to design and build more efficient cars and trucks, and promote renewable and low-carbon fuels and zero-emission vehicles. Over that half-century it has also seen policy ambition ebb and flow, as the initiative has passed from one group of stakeholders to another. With a dynamic economy driving innovation in engineering, design, manufacturing, and information technology, it remains an essential testing ground—and proving ground—for clean vehicle and fuels policy.

ICCT staff engage with federal, state, and local governments, as well as industry and other stakeholders, to shape practical and cost-effective policies for clean vehicles and fuels and defend and extend the public policy achievements of the past decade. Our research has established reliable technology baselines and development trends for fuel-efficiency in conventional light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles. We assembled the first comprehensive, city-level dataset on public policies and public investments for electric vehicles, and a key part of our research agenda is to enable data-driven assessment of developments and policy in new mobility and electric-drive vehicles. We provide technical advice and analysis in support of low-carbon fuels initiatives, and our airline-ranking series created a sound quantitative basis for extending debate over aviation carbon emissions even beyond questions of aircraft design.

Recent publications

Expanding access to electric mobility in the United States

Summarizes policies and actions that are expanding access to electric transportation in the United States and showcases several examples of equity-focused electric mobility practices that are encouraging their utilization more widely. 

2017.12.06 | Briefing
Global baseline assessment of compliance and enforcement programs for vehicle emissions and energy efficiency

Survey-based summary of regulatory agencies' programs to monitor and enforce compliance with vehicle emission and fuel consumption standards.

2017.11.14 | Report
Electric vehicle capitals of the world: What markets are leading the transition to electric?

Identifies 20 cities with the highest electric vehicle uptake through 2016 and examines the associated local policies, incentives, and infrastructure that have helped spur electric vehicle sales growth.

2017.11.08 | Briefing
See all publications

Staff blog

Scott Pruitt’s EPA wants to resurrect the dirty diesel

Additional NOx emissions from gliders under the Pruitt proposal would be 13 times what the impact of the Volkswagen fraud in the U.S. would have been had it gone undetected.

Staff

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