Tighten fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles


Summary of Benefits: 

Savings are immediate once policies are in place and associated benefits include urban air quality improvements, a better balance of payments for oil importing countries, and resources to spend on other sustainable development priorities.

  • Fuel economy improvements can arise in both passenger and freight vehicles.
  • Fuel economy efforts to date have focused on cars and trucks but have the potential to be extended across transport modes.
  • More fuel-efficient vehicles could consume less oil (54 billion barrels by 2050) and reduce CO2 emissions (33 gigatons in total by 2050) globally.
  • Fuel economy improvements from conventional internal combustion engine cars can save $2 trillion in un-used fuel over the next decade (and up to $8 trillion less by 2050).
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 heavy-duty vehicle fuel economy policy development and the promotion of electric vehicles.
Estimated Impact:
  • The transport sector now accounts for about 23% (7.3 Gt) of annual global energy-related CO2 emissions (32 Gt).
  • 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 light duty vehicles (LDVs) is reduced to around 4 liters per 100 km in 2030, a reduction of 50% relative to 2005.
  • 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/yr by 2050. It would also result in savings in annual oil import bills of $400 million/year in 2050, and a net saving of $8 trillion between 2010 and 2050.