Skip to main content

Lightening Up: How Less Heavy Vehicles Can Help Cut CO2 Emissions

Lightening Up: How Less Heavy Vehicles Can Help Cut CO2 Emissions cover image

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.