IEA produces roadmap to improve vehicle fuel efficiency by 50 percent

September 20th, 2012 by International Energy Agency

The International Energy Agency (IEA) shows how the right policies and technologies could improve the fuel efficiency of road vehicles by 50% by the middle of the century, saving as much as 80% of current annual global oil consumption.

The transport sector currently accounts for a 20% of global final energy consumption, and increased demand from this sector is expected to make up all future growth in oil use worldwide.

But there is massive potential for fuel efficiency improvements to reduce demand for transport fuel.

Reports published by the IEA show how human society could stabilise demand for oil even if the number of road vehicles (passenger cars, two-wheelers and freight trucks) doubled by 2050.

“Tackling road transport energy use is vital to enhancing energy security and reducing carbon dioxide emissions globally,” Richard Jones, IEA Deputy Executive Director, said.

“Conventional combustion engine vehicles are set to be around for a long time and without the right policy mixes, the demand for energy from road vehicles will be unsustainable.”

(Please click on the report cover to go to the IEA download page)

The report ‘Technology Roadmap: Fuel Economy for Road Vehicles‘, describes the technologies needed (such as high-pressure fuel injection systems) to achieve a much more efficient road-vehicle stock by 2030.

(Please click on report cover to go to IEA report download page)

The report ‘Policy Pathway: Improving the Fuel Economy of Road Vehicles‘, describes the policy packages, made up of fuel economy labeling, standards and fiscal policies, that can help deliver improved fuel economy.

With the right policies, countries can use available, cost-effective technologies to greatly improve the fuel economy of road vehicles over the next 10 to 20 years, and at the same time save billions of US dollars in fuel costs.

But governments need to act quickly. The new IEA “fuel-economy readiness” index measures the extent to which countries have implemented steps that will fully exploit the potential of existing fuel economy technologies and maximise their use in vehicles.

It reveals that very few have all the pieces in place to capitalise on the full potential of fuel economy improvements that could be achieved in the coming two decades.

The Technology Roadmap, the latest in a series of IEA publications that focus on global low-carbon energy technologies, from biofuels to smart grids, recommends:

  • further research, development and demonstration in some technologies – such as waste heat recovery devices – would help to make vehicles more efficient and cost-effective over time;
  • specific global fuel-economy improvement targets and milestones that countries should implement;
  • policies, including fuel economy standards, fiscal measures and information programmes, to dramatically improve the fuel economy of road vehicles.

The Policy Pathway, which offers detailed guidance for governments on how to put in place policy measures to increase the fuel efficiency of vehicles, includes information on:

  • how policies should be designed and the critical elements to planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating fuel-economy policy packages; and
  • highlights lessons learned and examples of good practices from countries with experience in implementing fuel-economy policies for vehicles.

(click on image to download the PDF file showing a technology roadmap for vehicle fuel efficiency in graphs and a map)


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