The GFEI toolkit aims to help navigate the main steps needed to develop fuel economy policy to improve vehicle efficiency and cut carbon emissions. It aims to provide an accessible introduction to the issues as well as more detailed information and resources for policymakers.


GFEI Targets 1
GFEI Targets 2
GFEI Targets 3

What is Fuel Economy?


Fuel economy is a measure of energy efficiency. It traditionally refers to the distance travelled per unit of fuel (e.g. km/L or MPG) - but increasingly relates to units of energy (to encompass non-liquid, non-fossil fuels, and energy carriers such as electricity and hydrogen). The inverse (‘fuel consumption’) is often used interchangeably - the fuel (or energy) required to travel a unit of distance (e.g. L/100km).

Vehicle fuel economy is important for reducing CO2 emissions from transport, as there is a close relationship between emissions and energy used (although with electric vehicles this also depends on how the electricity is generated - the carbon intensity of the grid).

How to use the toolkit

The toolkit has been designed to help you quickly navigate to the information that is most useful to you on any issue relating to fuel economy policy, as well as being able to get a high-level overview.

The toolkit provides an overview to the different policy approaches, and how these differ across vehicle types.

There is then a set of country examples, which are designed to inform and share learning that could be relevant to different contexts.

The last section contains links to more detailed guidance and in-depth tools for specific tasks.

Fuel economy for sustainable development and climate


Fuel economy policy focuses on improving the efficiency of vehicles to reduce harmful emissions.

Currently transport is responsible for nearly one-quarter of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

Improvements in all vehicles are needed, especially those still powered by internal combustion engines. However, the greatest efficiency potential is from a widespread transition to zero-emission (at tailpipe) vehicles. When combined with decarbonised electricity generation, fuel economy policy has the potential to make a significant impact on the dual challenges of climate change and air quality. GFEI’s target aims for a 90% reduction in light-duty (passenger) vehicle CO2 emissions by 2050.

For more information, see GFEI’s paper on Prospects for fuel efficiency, electrification and fleet decarbonisation.

GFEI's approach

GFEI’s approach is based on evidence. GFEI is a partnership of leading organisations and works with global and local experts to develop tailored policy options for each country, based on assessments of the vehicle fleet and national context. GFEI has set global targets that help guide the overall scale of emissions reductions, which are based on ambitious but achievable improvements.

GFEI supports countries to establish a ‘baseline’; the average fuel economy of all vehicles currently in use, and other key factors, such as dominant fuel types, and the proportion of new or used vehicles.

Workshops with key national and regional vehicle policy stakeholders are held to share key findings and explore the most effective policy options, including the potential to support a transition to electric vehicles. The main steps are:

  1. Collect data and create a baseline
  2. Model potential impact of different policy options
  3. Discuss with stakeholders
  4. Develop and implement policy
  5. Monitor impact of policy and review periodically

GFEI tools and policy support

GFEI has developed a number of tools to help countries understand the potential impact of fuel economy policies. You can access these in the resources section, or find links in the relevant parts of the thematic issue pages, which explain more about different fuel economy policy options (including standards, incentives, and information/labelling), and different types of vehicles (passenger cars, heavy-duty vehicles - including buses and trucks ,and motorbikes)

GFEI also has a network of partners and officials who have experience of undertaking policy. If you have specific questions or would like to know more, please contact