Staff blog: Passenger Vehicles

Feebate systems can be an effective policy tool for promoting vehicle efficiency. A change that France made recently to its feebate system illustrates the absolute best way to do things, while a look back at what changed illustrates why alternatives are . . . not best.
News outlets have compiled their "best-ofs"—or more likely "worst-ofs"—lists for 2017. Here we hop on the bandwagon and look back at last year in the European vehicle market. Demand for low-emission vehicles continued to grow while diesel sales continued to fall, thanks in part to a smorgasbord of policies to clean up road transportation.
The next time somebody cries crocodile tears about how sales trends show the automakers struggling to meet the fuel economy targets and falling behind despite their best efforts, tell them you want to talk about product cycles and credit banks.
Peru is committed to the Global Fuel Economy Initiative “100 for 50 by 50” campaign, and the Peruvian government intent on reducing vehicle fuel consumption. That may open policy windows to accelerate the adoption of efficiency technologies, which means that in 2018, Peru is likely to see more interagency discussion on policy strategies to reduce fuel consumption from vehicles. We look forward to learning what will happen next.
Even though Japan’s compliance and enforcement program is one of the most comprehensive, it could still be improved. Japan has an outsize influence on compliance and enforcement worldwide because it is home to major automotive manufacturers that sell their products worldwide. We should all hope that Japan's regulatory agencies keep playing tough, then, because that may translate into an outsize benefit to people’s health and the climate.
A common, comforting assumption about the future of transportation is that it will be autonomous, shared, and electric, which implies that it will offer deep emissions reductions. The problem with assumptions is that they sometimes turn out to be wrong. In this case, governments will have to take steps now to actively ensure such a low-emissions future, for it may not develop on its own.