Global Fuel Economy Initiative

 100 countries for 50 by 50

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The Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) aims to reduce carbon emissions from road transport by improving vehicle efficiency and supporting the rapid transition to zero emission vehicles. Founded in 2009 and with a decade of impact in over 70 countries around the world, GFEI was re-launched in 2019 with an expanded vision to decarbonise all road vehicles to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement targets.


GFEI has set a series of targets for decarbonising passenger vehicles, trucks, buses and motorcycles (compared with 2005). These ‘well to wheel’ targets (including sources of energy required for electric vehicles) are as follows:

  • Light duty (passenger) vehicles: Double fuel economy by 2030 and reduce CO2 per km by 90% by 2050.
  • Heavy duty (freight) vehicles: Cut fuel consumption by 35% by 2035, and reduce CO2 per km by 70% by 2050
  • 2/3 wheelers: Reduce CO2 per km by 80% by 2035 and 95% by 2050
  • Transit buses: Reduce CO2 emissions per km by 65% by 2035 and 95% by 2050
Partners and Signatories

GFEI is a partnership of the world’s leading vehicle efficiency experts. There are six GFEI partner organizations (FIA Foundation, UN Environment, the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), International Transport Forum (ITF), and University of California, Davis), as well as regional implementing partners, and the 70 countries where GFEI provides practical support.

Relevance to advance the Paris Agreement goals

GFEI’s targets are based on expert modelling of the improvements needed to achieve the Paris Agreement goals. Overall, GFEI’s targets are expected to contribute to reducing CO2 emissions from road vehicles by 65% by 2050 (compared with 2005). In order to achieve the less than 2 degrees scenario a faster decarbonisation of the electricity grid and additional ‘avoid’ and ‘shift’ measures are also needed.

Activities of the Initiative

GFEI has a track record of impact. Already over fifty countries have mapped and tracked trends in the fuel consumption of their vehicle fleet, and started developing policy options with the support of GFEI partners, including fuel economy standards and support for zero emission vehicles. GFEI provides comprehensive support and guidance, working closely with regional and in-country partners to share lessons from different countries, and draw on advanced analytical modelling tools to understand the impact of potential policies.

Analysis by IEA in 2015 showed that in the decade from 2005-2015, around 1.5 EJ of energy was saved by fuel economy policies – the equivalent of the transport related energy use of Italy each year. With support from GFEI, often over a number of years, many governments that have introduced policies for improved fuel economy. These include:

  • Fuel economy labelling schemes in Chile, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Thailand and Montenegro, with new proposals for Philippines and Indonesia currently being finalised
  • New tax and fiscal incentives for improved fuel economy in Chile, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Ukraine and proposed for Zambia
  • New and updated or extended fuel economy standards in the EU, US, Canada, India, China, Saudi Arabia and Japan
  • New import regulations in Uganda and Kenya among others
  • New EV mandate in China and California

In addition, GFEI works globally and regionally to share lessons and make the case for fuel economy. GFEI has organised a series of global workshops over the past decade, bringing together policy makers from around the world to build momentum for improved fuel economy, including at COP21 in Paris. This has led to major policy commitments at the global and regional scale, including:

  • Regional fuel economy roadmaps in South East Asia (ASEAN), and West Africa (ECOWAS)
  • Global commitments to improved energy efficiency through UN Sustainable Development Goal 7, as a Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) accelerator. GFEI has worked to ensure vehicle efficiency is included in country’s voluntary national reviews, and GFEI showcased its work with Jamaica by releasing a short film at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2018
  • Technical partner to the Transport Task Group of the G20. This includes supporting G20 members in Argentina consider the impact of fuel economy policy for Heavy-Duty Vehicles, and recent work with Japan.

GFEI re-launch summary:

GFEI Working Paper 20: Prospects for fuel efficiency, electrification and fleet decarbonisation

GFEI Working Paper 19: Fuel economy in major car markets: technology and policy drivers 2005-2017:

GFEI Working Paper 18: The role of plug-in electric vehicles to improve fuel economy: Integrating electric mobility in GFEI activities.

Focal point

Sheila Watson, Global Fuel Economy Initiative,