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The reductions in passenger vehicle emissions that have been achieved since the mid-twentieth century are a great environmental success story. Government regulation of tailpipe emissions and private investments in breakthrough technologies such as the three-way catalytic converter have reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons by 75 to 90 percent at a relatively small cost to consumers. Since California first established emission standards for passenger vehicles in the 1960s, different regulatory approaches have been adopted by the United States, Japan, and Europe, and each has been emulated to some degree in other parts of the world. Significant work remains to replicate these successes throughout the rest of the global fleet.

The massive impact of passenger vehicles on climate also remains to be addressed. The transportation sector is responsible for about one-quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Passenger vehicles account for just under half of this total, and will remain the predominant source of these emissions for the foreseeable future.

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Legal brief summarizing public access to vehicle emissions data in the European Union and United States.
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Compares official laboratory-test and on-road nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions for 541 Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel passenger cars, representing 145 of the most popular European models.
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The Staff

Anup Bandivadekar
Anup Bandivadekar
Program Director / India Lead
Yoann Bernard
Yoann Bernard
Real World Emissions Researcher
Jan Dornoff
Jan Dornoff
Vehicle Emissions Senior Researcher
John German
John German
Senior Fellow / US Co-Lead
Hui He
Hui He
Senior Policy Analyst / China Lead
Fanta Kamakaté
Fanta Kamakaté
Chief Program Officer
Peter Mock
Peter Mock
Europe Managing Director / EU Lead
Peter Slowik
Peter Slowik
Associate Researcher