International comparison of light-duty vehicle fuel economy: Evolution over 8 years from 2005 to 2013
The last update of global fuel economy trends, published in 2013, concluded that, while global average fuel economy was improving, more needs to be done to meet the ambitious, yet realistic, Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) target to cut by half the specific fuel consumption of new passenger light-duty vehicles (in Lge/100km) by 2030.
This update adds two more years (2012 and 2013) and three more countries to earlier analyses and includes substantial methodological changes. The normalization to the NEDC test cycle is the main methodological revision. It aims to deliver more robust and internationally comparable results. The latest analysis shows that the improvement rate of fuel economy did not change significantly over time, remaining close to 2.0% per year.
Recent developments point to a slow down in this rate (1.6% between 2012 and 2013). This is mainly due of the growing importance of non-OECD markets, where fuel economy improvements have been limited. The 2.0% improvement rate represents about two thirds of the 3.1% per year improvement required to reach the GFEI target.
The only modest improvement emerging from global historical data is counterbalanced by a number of encouraging signs. First, when looking at individual countries, more than half of the OECD countries taken into consideration by this analysis have improvement rates well above 3%. Further to this, remarkable progress has been made with respect to the adoption of transformative fuel economy policies in the very recent past in non-OECD economies.