A partnership of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Transport Forum (ITF) and FIA Foundation is launching the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) at the upcoming Geneva motor show.
The “50 by 50” effort calls for cars worldwide to be made 50% more fuel efficient by 2050, with interim targets. Even if vehicle kilometers driven double by 2050, efficiency improvements on this scale worldwide would effectively cap emissions of CO2 from cars at current levels, the partners point out. The global vehicle parc is predicted to triple by 2050.
The technologies required to improve the efficiency of new cars 30% by 2020 and 50% by 2030, and the efficiency of the global car fleet 50% by 2050, mainly involve incremental change to conventional internal combustion engines and drive systems, along with weight reduction and better aerodynamics, the partnership says.
To achieve a 50% improvement in new cars by 2030, the main additional measures would be full hybridization of a much wider range of vehicles (possibly including, but not requiring, plug-in hybrid vehicle technologies). Vehicle technology is changing rapidly and more cost-effective technologies are likely to emerge in coming years, increasing the potential and/or lowering costs further, the partners suggest.
Battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and possibly hydrogen fuel cell vehicles could result in further CO2 reductions and oil savings if they succeed in achieving mass-market commercialization. This would also depend on the provision by the electricity sector of low-CO2 electricity.
The Global Fuel Economy Initiative intends to improve the understanding of the fuel economy potential and cost of cars built and sold around the world, and to provide guidance and support on the development of policies to promote fuel efficient vehicles via activities including:
Developing improved data and analysis on fuel economy around the world, monitoring trends and progress over time and assessing the potential for improvement.
Working with governments to develop policies to encourage fuel economy improvement for vehicles produced or sold in their countries and to improve the consistency and alignment in policies across regions in order to lower the cost and maximize the benefits of improving vehicle fuel economy.
Working with stakeholders including automakers to better understand the potential for fuel economy improvement and solicit their input and support in working toward improved fuel economy.
Supporting regional awareness initiatives to provide consumers and decision makers with the information they need to make informed choices.
This will include periodic reports by the initiative and support for the development of vehicle testing and consumer information systems in regions where these are not yet available.
The FIA Foundation was established in 2001 with a donation of $300 million made by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the non-profit federation of motoring organizations and the governing body of world motor sport.