Fuel economy in major car markets: technology and policy drivers 2005-2017

While the average fuel economy of vehicles continues to improve, the rate of progress has slowed in recent years. An IEA/GFEI report (with support of the ICCT), Fuel Economy in Major Car Markets looked at fuel economy development in the 2005-2017 for the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) and it shows that average amount of fuel required to travel 100 km improved by 1.3% in 2016 and 2017, down from 2% per year between 2013 and 2015. Important drivers for this slowdown are declining shares of diesel vehicles, mostly replaced by gasoline despite fastly growing shares of electrified vehicles and a continued appetite towards larger vehicles. It also reflects changes in the composition of light-duty vehicle sales globally, including increased sales in emerging economies and shifts occurring within advanced economies. Countries with policies (fuel economy standards and purchase incentives) experienced faster and more stable improvements than countries without, highlighting the need for robust policy frameworks to regulate and incentivise more efficient light-duty vehicles, including compliance and enforcement.