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

A comparison of induced land-use change emissions estimates from energy crops

Finds that ILUC emissions from energy cropping are highly sensitive to assumptions of the composition of marginal lands and suggests that additional sustainability safeguards may be necessary for energy cropping in order to ensure that it only occurs on low-carbon stock land.

2018.02.06 | White paper
Compliance pathways in the U.S. Phase 2 heavy-duty vehicle efficiency regulation

Explores some of the compliance pathways available to heavy duty vehicle manufacturers. Specifically, this paper develops hypothetical technology packages for certain types of tractor trucks, vocational vehicles, and trailers using distinct technology strategies compares cost-effectiveness.

2018.02.05 | Working paper
Transpacific airline fuel efficiency ranking, 2016

Compares the fuel efficiency of 20 airlines operating nonstop flights between the mainland United States and East Asia and Oceania and extends the previous transatlantic fuel efficiency methodology to the transpacific market.

2018.01.16 | 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