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

The role of standards in reducing CO2 emissions of passenger cars in the EU

Effectively enforced vehicle CO2 performance standards are at the core of any effort to realize lower-carbon transport. EU member states should implement supporting policy measures such as emissions-based vehicle taxes, mandates for electric vehicles, and emissions-based road pricing.

2018.02.12 | Briefing
Remote sensing of motor vehicle exhaust emissions

A comprehensive overview of vehicle remote sensing, an emissions measurement technique which has been used for more than 25 years to evaluate emissions from passing motor vehicles in real-world driving. Reviews technical details of the vehicle remote sensing test method, describes the multiple types of emissions analyses that can be conducted with remote sensing data, and explores areas where remote sensing can supplement emission test methods currently used in the European Union light-duty vehicle regulatory program.

2018.02.01 | White paper
Diesel-Pkw: Rückgang des Marktanteils bleibt ohne negative Folgen für Klimaschutzziele

Der derzeitige Rückgangs des Dieselanteils zieht keine negativen Auswirkungen auf die Erreichbarkeit der Klimaschutzziele nach sich. Vor diesem Hintergrund sollte ein Festhalten an der derzeitigen Subvention von Dieselkraftstoff für Pkw kritisch hinterfragt und eine Angleichung der Steuersätze für Diesel und Benzin in Erwägung gezogen werden.

2018.01.30 | Briefing
See all publications

Staff blog

2017 year in review: European diesel down, electric vehicles on the rise

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.

Staff

Program Director / Regional Lead
Senior Fellow / Regional Co-Lead
Senior Researcher / Regional Lead
Program Director / Regional Co-Lead
Peter Mock
EU Managing Director / Regional Lead