Frequently Asked Questions about the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI)


8th April 2015

What is the Global Fuel Economy Initiative?

The Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) is a partnership of five organizations – IEA, ITF, UNEP, ICCT and FIA Foundation – which seek to promote the potential of a substantial but attainable improvement in vehicle fuel economy as a contribution to the debates on how we might bring about climate change, energy security and more sustainable mobility on a global basis.

The GFEI works with countries to develop an appropriate national approach and supporting target for improved car fleet fuel economy, while working towards a global stabilization of emissions from the road transport sector by 2050. 

What is the 50by50 campaign?

The GFEI has established the 50by50 campaign as a means of drawing together available evidence to show the contribution which greater fuel efficiency from existing technologies could make to addressing the challenge of a predicted massive increase in the global car fleet, which will occur mainly in developing countries.

We face a near tripling of the number of cars on the planet by 2050, the vast bulk in emerging economies. Improved fuel economy is essential if we are to address some of the negative implications of this growth, such as pollution, congestion, energy and resource depletion, and environmental damage. GFEI has cut out its path to ensure we have a cleaner environment, by curbing the rising vehicular emissions and lobbying for fuel efficiency for cars.

What is the objective of your campaign?

The 50by50 campaign seeks to draw attention to the possibilities which existing technologies could bring in improved fuel economy. The campaign shows that we could see a halving in per vehicle CO2 emissions by 2050, thus enabling a massively larger global car fleet to be emitting no extra compared to the base year of 2005, if we pursued those technologies. It also suggests that whilst the public policy response to this issue may well differ from country to country, and even region to region, everyone must act now to address the issue of fuel economy.

What does 50by50 mean in my country?

50by50 is an overall objective, based on existing evidence, of what existing technologies could deliver in terms of improved fuel economy. It does not favour any of those technologies, nor does it exclude the benefits which other technologies such as electric cars could bring. It is a device to promote the debate about what each country and region could and should do to improve fuel economy in the best interests of local people and the whole planet. This therefore means that there is no blueprint provided for all countries to follow. Rather, a toolkit of possible approaches is prescribed, so that each country can choose what best works for them.

What do you hope to achieve?

In the longer term we want to see real improvements in the fuel economy capacity of the global car fleet. To that end, we will continue to raise awareness, present evidence, and offer support, in a way which enables more and more countries to adopt effective fuel economy standards and policies which work in their circumstances and with their fleet.This will in turn reduce vehicular carbon emissions by close to half of what is released into the air today, 62 billion metric tons yearly as opposed to today’s 28 billion metric tons globally.

How much will meeting these targets cost the industry? 

We are talking about technologies already in production into which investment has already been made like hybridization, weight reduction and improvement to existing engines and cars.  It is also clear that the most forward looking manufacturers of cars and components are already investing massively elsewhere. We believe that if car and component producers, governments and others can work together on this there should be a massive opportunity for manufacturers who are able to deliver a more energy efficient product, to benefit from a growing global demand for transportation. 

The challenge is more on the roll out and massive application of existing technologies (than on developing new technologies. So the GFEI is focusing on the further introduction and application of existing technologies. 

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