Globally, transportation accounts for about a quarter of energy consumption, roughly equal to the energy consumed by industry and buildings. Yet unlike these sectors, which can derive their energy from natural gas, renewable energy, and other diverse fuel sources, transportation largely relies on petroleum. As a result, nearly 60 percent of the oil consumed globally is used by transportation. Without significant changes in policy or technology, global transportation-related emissions could nearly double in the coming decades, growing faster than any other end-use sector.

EPIC scholars are particularly interested in policies related to the vehicle market. They are assessing how countries like China and India will accommodate rising levels of per capita vehicle ownership without severely degrading urban environments. Further, they are evaluating the financial and policy tools that can help make vehicles more efficient, saving drivers money on fuel, reducing oil use, and cutting carbon emissions.