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OECD Publishes Results of Roundtable on Stimulating Low-Carbon Vehicle Technologies

January 2011: The Joint Transport Research Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) International Transport Forum has published the results of a 2010 Round Table 2010 on “Stimulating Low-carbon Vehicle Technologies.”

Based on the recognition that, although a reduction of travel would be the most direct way to reduce carbon emissions from transport, current global economic development patterns indicate that this will be unlikely, the round table examined ways to promote lower-carbon technologies in the passenger car sector.

Specifically, it investigated the following questions to help guide policymakers' efforts to realize lower-carbon transport systems: what do consumers take into account when deciding what vehicle to buy; what drives manufacturer decisions on what range of vehicles to offer; does the interaction of supply and demand lead to unsatisfactory fuel economy in relation to climate change objectives; is the outcome unsatisfactory even if climate change is ignored, in the sense that there is “underinvestment” in fuel efficiency; and in the latter case, what precisely is meant by an unsatisfactory outcome?

Results of the round table indicated significant heterogeneity in consumer preferences and budget for new vehicles. On the issue of standards setting, participants widely agreed that they are a necessary component of policies aiming not only to reduce fuel consumption, but to change the principal source of energy use in personal transportation. [Round Table Report Website (for sale from OECD Bookstore)][Summary and Conclusions Document]