Lightening Up: How Less Heavy Vehicles Can Help Cut CO2 Emissions
This report examines how lowering vehicle mass can reduce CO2 emissions from road transport. The average mass of new passenger cars in the European Union has increased by around 40% over the past four decades. Lowering vehicle mass to levels observed in the mid-1970s could reduce vehicle emissions substantially and help meet European Union targets such as the 60% reduction in transport CO2 emissions by 2050. Based on different scenarios, this study shows that mass reduction across all vehicle technologies has potential to reduce the gap between such ambitions and the current trend and would financially benefit the vehicle user.
This report is part of the Decarbonising Transport initiative
- Consider the potential of vehicle mass reduction when designing climate policies.
- Do not rely on vehicle mass reductions alone to achieve the European Union’s target of a 60% transport CO2 reduction.
- Nudge consumers into buying lighter vehicles by emphasising their benefit.