The project aims to robustly quantify the potential for accelerated emissions reductions in the passenger car sector within the existing socio-technical system and develop a multi-layered understanding of why, thus far, it has not formed a major part of the political nor scientific dialogue on mitigation. It will proceed to develop a set of scenarios including narratives, policy mechanisms and regulatory regimes designed to equip decision makers with the wherewithal to consider seriously accelerating mitigation. Finally, it will offer a taxonomy and concise evaluation of more interventionist prospects to extend mitigation beyond existing technical and social norms. The project has the following objectives:

  1. Develop a suite of carbon budgets for the UK car sector consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goals and designed to provide a quantitative framework against which to assess mitigation rates and policy mechanisms.
  2. Generate a suite of quantitative scenarios for a selection of emission standards applied as fleet average and maximum carbon emissions (gCO2/km), derived to align with Objective 1’s sectorbased carbon budgets.
  3. Assess the capital, operational, infrastructural and ancillary costs for the ICV technologies included in each scenario. Buttress this with an evaluation of potential impacts on employment and other non-cost factors of production.
  4. Understand the interaction of competing political, commercial and broader civil society interests that contributed to the EU’s current fleet mean emission standard. (The level set was considerably less ambitious than was already being delivered by many manufacturers at noprice premium, by conventional IC engines, and across virtually all vehicle classifications).
  5. Building on Objectives 3 and 4, design a series of policy rationales and mechanisms tailoredfor each of the quantitative scenarios generated in Objective 2.
  6. Evaluate complementary opportunities for more interventionist approaches, outwith the existingsocio-technical system, and designed to deliver still further near-term mitigation; for example fuel switching and alternative ownership models. Although analysis excludes modal shift, it does include an assessment of (non-climate) co-benefits of deep and early mitigation. (Initial analysis estimates that including such measures could see mitigation from the car fleet reach 60 to 70% within a decade).