More fuel efficient vehicles consume less oil and reduce CO2 emissions. Other benefits include air quality improvements and additional resources for other sustainable development priorities.
- Fuel economy improvements can arise in both passenger and freight vehicles, though the latter is likely to be a longer-term process and thus is not included in this action.
- Fuel economy efforts to date have focused on cars and trucks but have the potential to be extended across transport modes, including buses, trains, and aviation/maritime vehicles.
- More fuel-efficient vehicles could consume less oil (54 billion barrels by 2050) and reduce CO2 emissions (33 Gt in total by 2050) globally. Achieving the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) target is estimated to account for almost one third of the CO2 reductions necessary to switch individual motorized passenger transport from a 6 degree Celcius (6DS) to a 2DS emission trajectory.
- Fuel economy improvements from conventional internal combustion engine cars can save USD $2 trillion in un-used fuel over the next decade (and up to UDS $8 trillion by 2050), freeing up valuable resources for other development priorities, such as education, health, infrastructure, or the promotion of other transport technologies or modes such as electric vehicles.
Status of deployment:
- As of early 2016, 27 developing countries are at various stages of developing fuel economy policies with the support of the GFEI. GFEI has built a network of 65 countries to build capacity by sharing good practices, and is broadening its scope to include HDV fuel economy policy development and the promotion of electric vehicles.
- The transport sector now accounts for about 23% (7.3 Gt) of annual global energy-related CO2 emissions (32 Gt). This is a significant rise (about 120%) from 3.3 Gt/year during the 1970s, and to achieve a 2DS scenario, CO2 emissions from transport would need to decline to 5.7 Gt annually. However, projections suggest that the global motorized vehicle fleet is set to triple by 2050.
- Simply doubling the fuel economy of the global vehicle fleet would provide significant climate benefits, as it would reduce emissions of CO2 by about 1.5 Gt/year by 2050. It would also result in savings in annual oil import bills of USD $400 million/year in 2050, and a net saving of USD $8 trillion between 2010 and 2050. It would also lead to high co-benefits (i.e. reduced fossil fuel dependence, reduced emissions of short-lived climate pollutants including black carbon, and improved air quality).Considering high growth in the vehicle population, in order to achieve deep reductions in transport sector carbon emissions (i.e. to achieve peak energy related emissions by 2020), progressive fuel economy standards must be implemented so that global average fuel consumption for new LDVs is reduced to around 4 liters per 100 km in 2030, a reduction of 50% relative to 2005. For new freight trucks, standards need to be adopted to achieve a 30% reduction in average vehicle fuel consumption per truck relative to current vehicle fuel efficiency. In order to achieve this, annual average increase in fuel economy (L/100km) must reach 2.7% for LDVs and 2.0% for HDVs.
- In January 2016, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia implemented new LDV fuel economy standards for all new and used passenger vehicles and light trucks, whether domestic or imported. Kenya has adopted a scheme for imported second-hand vehicles to raise taxes on older vehicles by 150% and lower taxes on newer vehicles by 30%. At national levels, implementing fuel economy standards or improving fuel economy policies could result in a 6% to 22% reduction in transport CO2 emissions by 2030, depending on policies and standards considered and intensity of penetration of fuel efficient vehicles. For example, in the ASEAN region, implementing fuel economy standards for LDVs and HDVs could result in CO2 reductions of 27% by 2035,while similar strategies could yield a 5.7% reduction in Mexico by 2030.