International Transport Forum Policy Papers

The ITF Transport Policy Papers provide evidence-based policy insights and recommendations. The series assembles reports from case-specific policy analyses carried out by the ITF on request of member countries, thematic reviews carried out in agreement with local institutions, studies completed in the context of the ITF Corporate Partnership Board, and other work focused on supporting policy decisions. The papers in this series will be of interest to policy makers, industry, researchers and transport experts.


Lightening Up

How Less Heavy Vehicles Can Help Cut CO2 Emissions

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.

This report was developed in the context of the International Transport Forum’s Decarbonising Transport project. It is part of the International Transport Forum’s Case-Specific Policy Analysis series.

These are topical studies on specific issues carried out by the ITF in agreement with local institutions.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error