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

Automobile production in Canada and implications for Canada’s 2025 passenger vehicle greenhouse gas standards

Analyzes the Canadian vehicle manufacturing market and sales patterns to illuminate the possible impacts if Canada weakens its greenhouse gas emission standards in order to align with the U.S. federal government or maintains its existing standards and aligns with California and, most likely, 13 other U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

2018.04.10 | Working paper
Automation in the long haul: Challenges and opportunities of autonomous heavy-duty trucking in the United States

An analysis of the state of autonomous trucking technology, including the benefits and drawbacks of adoption, and the impact on fuel use and emissions in the on-road freight sector.

2018.03.29 | Working paper
How will off-cycle credits impact U.S. 2025 efficiency standards?

Analyzes the U.S. off-cycle credit program within the 2025 greenhouse gas and fuel economy regulations, including how the off-cycle credits were used in model years 2015 and 2016, trends among automakers with the most credits, and the impact of greater credit use through 2025.

2018.03.27 | White paper
See all publications

Staff blog

U.S. and Canada: On vehicle emissions compliance and enforcement, two feds are better than one

As both U.S. and Canada work to improve their C&E programs, we applaud their team effort to tackle air quality challenges, encourage them to continue to strengthen this partnership, and hope to see more such regional collaborations around the globe whenever the circumstances allow. Because when it comes to emission control in the highly integrated North American vehicle market, two feds are better than one.

Staff

Senior Fellow / Regional Co-Lead
Program Director / Regional Co-Lead
Senior Researcher