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Large Decreases in Tailpipe Criteria Pollutant Emissions from the U.S. Light-Duty Vehicle Fleet Expected in 2020–2040

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
January 16, 2024

The U.S. EPA MOVES3 model was used to assess the impact of the large-scale introduction of electric vehicles on emissions of criteria pollutants (CO, hydrocarbons [HC], NOx, and particulate matter [PM]) and CO2 from the U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet. Large reductions in emissions of these criteria pollutants occurred in 2000–2020. These trends are expected to continue through 2040 driven by turnover of the conventional fleet with old vehicles being replaced by battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and by new internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) with modern emission control systems. Without the introduction of BEVs, the absolute emissions of CO, NOx, HC, and PM2.5 from the U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet are expected to decrease by approximately 61, 88, 55, and 20% from 2020 to 2040. Introduction of BEVs with market share increasing linearly to 100% in 2040 provides additional benefits, which, combined with ICEV fleet turnover, would lead to decreases of absolute emissions of CO, NOx, HC, and PM2.5 of approximately 77, 94, 71, and 37% from 2020 to 2040. Reductions in CO2 emissions follow a similar pattern. Large decreases in criteria pollutant and CO2 emissions from light duty vehicles lie ahead.

Rachael H. Dolan
James E. Anderson
Research Areas
Mobility Systems
Publication Type
Journal Article
Digital Object Identifier
Full Citation

R. H. Dolan, T. J. Wallington, J. E. Anderson, Large decreases in criteria pollutant emissions from the U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet expected in 2020-2040, Environ. Sci. Technol., (2024). CSS24-07