By Will Roberts
The fuel economy of new cars is not improving fast enough to keep up with targets to cut fuel use by 50 per cent by 2030, it is feared.
A report issued by the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) shows that the global average for light duty vehicle fuel economy is 7.2 l/100km (32 mpg).
While this is an improvement of 1.8 per cent per year from 2005, when the average was 8.0 l/100km, the rate of improvement is far below what is needed to meet the GFEI target of 4l/100km or 60 mpg by 2030 for new cars. An improvement globally of three per cent per year would be needed to meet this target.
Sheila Watson, executive secretary of the GFEI, said: "Globally, progress is being made on fuel economy but we now need to see an acceleration in the rate of improvement.
"Much more attention needs to be paid to emerging, non-OECD economies where the vehicle markets are now undergoing rapid growth. The technical capabilities to reach the target already exist, but policies are now urgently needed to provide sufficient incentives to drive fuel economy improvements worldwide."
The GFEI said there should be an emphasis on helping non-OECD countries develop and deploy more stringent fuel economy policies.
It says that while the OECD countries are on the right track, they need to sustain and even slightly accelerate improvements in fuel economy in order to meet the GFEI's 2030 target.
The report also acknowledges the progress made in recent years regarding the interest, development and deployment of fuel economy policies and related vehicle technologies. But it warned the trend needs to be sustained and accelerated in the near future.
The report, called International Comparison of Light-Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy, was produced for the GFEI by the International Energy Agency in partnership with the UN Environment Programme, the International Transport Forum, the International Council on Clean Transportation, the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis, and the FIA Foundation.