Global Auto Sales Shift Hampers Reducing Vehicle Emissions

As emerging markets, led by the BRIC countries, eclipse mature markets in global auto sales growth, it will become more challenging to control or reduce emissions from vehicles powered by internal combustion engines (ICEs).

John Humphrey

A major reason is that passenger-vehicle buyers in these markets already tend to be more sensitive to price pressure than are buyers in economically mature markets, which favors the sale of traditional ICE-powered passenger vehicles. Therefore, it is unlikely that buyers in these developing markets will accept the price premium charged for hybrid-electric or battery-electric powertrains with a price differential expected to average about US $11,000.

Although some governments, such as China’s, are taking steps to reduce auto-related carbon emissions, the sheer volume of vehicles being added to the global fleet during the next decade will largely negate these efforts, which means carbon emissions and overall air quality will get worse before it gets better. Continue reading ›