RFF Project

The Transition to Cleaner Vehicles and Fuels

RFF experts are helping to identify and develop effective and efficient transportation policy options that reduce oil use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The transportation sector is central to the well-being of the US economy and consumes more oil than any other economic activity in the United States. It also accounts for one quarter of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Innovation in both vehicles and fuels offers the promise to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. Yet these fuels and vehicles will not successfully reduce oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining economic growth if businesses do not bring them to market and if consumers do not adopt them.

The key to the success of these new technologies is unlocking the factors that drive consumers and businesses to adopt and use them. Understanding these decisions can dispel myths and resolve controversies that impede the development of effective and efficient policies. More specifically, identifying individuals’ responses to the technologies themselves and to policies that promote them will lay the foundation for more effective design and evaluation of strategies to reduce oil consumption and emissions. That is the goal of RFF’s Transition to Cleaner Vehicles and Fuels project.

Research under this project focuses on US light-duty vehicles—the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. RFF experts are examining questions associated with both conventional vehicles and alternative powertrains and fuels such as electrics and fuel cell vehicles. Underpinning the research are unique consumer data and novel analytical techniques, combined with rigorous policy analysis.