Compliance and enforcement

Compliance and enforcement

As vehicle emissions and efficiency regulations have become more stringent, the technologies used to mitigate emissions and reduce fuel consumption have become increasingly complex. A modern car or truck has a powerful computer under its hood and a small chemical plant, in effect, as part of its exhaust system, meaning there are many potential areas for system failure—or manipulation. All governments face significant challenges in ensuring that emissions and efficiency standards meant to protect public health and welfare are met in practice and not just in theory. Technology will continue to advance, and temptations to evade or subvert regulations will remain. An essential component of clean transportation policy, therefore, is effective measures to ensure that the intended outcomes from emissions-control and fuel-efficiency programs materialize, in fact, throughout the vehicle lifecycle.

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About the program

As vehicle emissions and efficiency regulations have become more stringent, the technologies used to mitigate emissions and reduce fuel consumption have become increasingly complex. A modern car or truck has a powerful computer under its hood and a small chemical plant, in effect, as part of its exhaust system, meaning there are many potential areas for system failure—or manipulation. All governments face significant challenges in ensuring that emissions and efficiency standards meant to protect public health and welfare are met in practice and not just in theory. Technology will continue to advance, and temptations to evade or subvert regulations will remain. An essential component of clean transportation policy, therefore, is effective measures to ensure that the intended outcomes from emissions-control and fuel-efficiency programs materialize, in fact, throughout the vehicle lifecycle.

ICCT research and analyses have played crucial roles in illuminating the scale and scope of disparities between vehicle-efficiency targets or pollutant emissions standards and “real-world” achievement in everyday use. ICCT also provides data and expertise to efforts by government agencies and other stakeholders engaged in designing and operating programs to measure and track vehicle performance, spot problems such as systematically high-emitting vehicle models, and identify workable and effective resolutions that ensure that efficiency and pollution standards are met in practice as well as in theory.

Drew Kodjak TRUE social media

The overall goal of the TRUE Initiative is to measure and publish real world emissions data and to work with selected cities to utilize this data to help inform city-level measures to control urban transportation emissions. The first cities we have been focusing our efforts on are London and Paris.

—See TRUE rating, June 2018

 

Recent publications

States and cities seeking to maintain clean car standards

Summarizes the states and other localities who have voiced opposition to the rollback of 2025 federal fuel efficiency standards.

2018.08.21 | Fact sheet
China’s Stage VI emissions standard for heavy-duty vehicles (final rule)

Summary of the China VI heavy-duty vehicle standards and a comparison with emission regulations in the other major markets.

2018.07.20 | Policy update
Laboratory and on-road testing of exhaust emissions of two modern China 5 light-duty gasoline vehicles

Testing shows CO and NOx emissions from China 5 gasoline cars are not properly controlled under real-world driving conditions.

2018.07.13 | White paper
See all publications

Staff blog

Off the hook: Europe's current ZLEV proposal would allow CO2 emissions of new combustion engine vehicles to increase

Even though targets for low- and zero-emission vehicles are an innovative approach for EU standards, they could undercut the climate benefit of the regulation. Fortunately, with some slight modifications EU regulators could effectively promote both fuel efficiency and electrification.

Staff