Comparison of Passenger Vehicle Fuel Economy and GHG Emission Standards Around the World

Nine major regions around the world have implemented or proposed various fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards. Yet these standards are not easily comparable, due to differences in policy approaches, test drive cycles, and units of measurement. This paper develops a methodology to compare these programs to better understand their relative stringency. The results are summarized by Figure ES. Key findings from the report include:

  • The European Union (EU) and Japan have the most stringent standards in the world.
  • The fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission performance of the U.S. cars and light trucks—both historically and projected based on current policies—lags behind most other nations. The United States and Canada have the lowest standards in terms of fleet-average fuel economy rating, and they have the highest greenhouse gas emission rates based on the EU testing procedure.
  • The new Chinese standards are more stringent than those in Australia, Canada, California, and the United States, but they are less stringent than those in the European Union and Japan.
  • If the California GHG standards go into effect, they would narrow the gap between U.S. and EU standards, but the California standards would still be less stringent than the EU standards.