1903.svg

The automotive sector through a climate lens


Analyzing the Automotive Sector on Climate Change

InfluenceMap's Automotive Climate Tool provides valuable new insight on how the automotive sector is responding to climate change. It provides investors, the media and the public with a robust method for fact-checking automotive companies' climate change statements against real-world data on their policy influencing activities and investment strategies.

Sections

Overview

The Automotive Climate Tool combines InfluenceMap's leading analysis of automotive company engagement with climate change policy and regulations, with industry standard data from IHS Markit on forecasted production out to 2029.

Updated in real-time, it enables users to track twelve of the largest automakers in ten key sales regions as they compete to align themselves with Paris-aligned trajectories for the automotive sector. Key trends are summarized below;

  • The climate strategies of the world’s largest automakers are undermining a 1.5°C-aligned transition towards zero-emission vehicles. Automakers lagging in the transition to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have the most negative climate policy engagement, whereas automakers leading on battery electric vehicle production are increasingly positive. This analysis reveals the intimate connection between automakers' internal production ambitions on zero-emission vehicles and their external climate policy engagement strategies.

The graphic below compares the climate policy engagement score (assessed by InfluenceMap) of major automakers with their forecasted percentage production of zero-emission vehicles by 2029 (IHS Markit data). The bubble size represents the relative proportion of vehicle production compared to other major global automakers.

Zero Emission Vehicle Production and Climate Policy Engagement

Zero Emission vehicles as % of total vehicle production by 2029 versus InfluenceMap climate policy engagement scores (Circle size proportional to 2022 vehicle sales - hover over companies for details)

Climate Policy Engagement

InfluenceMap maintains the world's leading platform for tracking and assessing corporate and industry engagement with climate change policy, covering over 350 companies and 150 industry associations to date.

Key Findings:

  • The automotive sector remains a major opponent of climate policy globally. Automakers remain opponents of stringent climate regulation, with 8 of the 12 analyzed automakers receiving a final letter grade of D or D+. High engagement intensity scores indicate that the sector is strategically engaged in trying to influence climate policy.

  • Automakers' climate policy engagement has seen limited improvements in 2020-22, with some companies increasingly supporting more ambitious climate regulation than their peers. There is an increasing division between automakers embracing pro-electric vehicle climate policies, such as internal combustion engine (ICE) phase-out dates, and automakers continuing to oppose policies to reduce demand for ICE-powered vehicles and mandate higher battery electric vehicle sales.

  • Automotive industry associations are spearheading global opposition to climate regulation across major markets. Industry associations representing automakers across major regions (US, EU, Germany, Japan and UK) have highly negative climate policy engagement.

The table below compares the climate policy engagement scores of 12 major automakers, with data taken from their LobbyMap profiles. Each company's full Automotive Climate Tool profile is available through its linked name.

Company & Link to Profile
Performance Band
Organization Score
Relationship Score
Engagement Intensity
B
76%
85%
35%
C-
70%
44%
46%
C-
66%
49%
45%
D+
55%
51%
32%
D+
54%
51%
41%
D+
53%
50%
28%
D+
52%
50%
31%
D
53%
43%
27%
D
50%
48%
32%
D
48%
49%
32%

Vehicle Production Data

The following graphs show current and forecasted light-duty vehicle production data until 2029 from the global automotive sector (data from IHS Markit, with independent analysis by InfluenceMap), divided by size and technology, and compared with the International Energy Agency's 1.5C scenario on zero-emission vehicle sales for road transport.

Key Findings:

  • Automakers' zero-emission vehicle production is not on track to meet the IEA's 1.5°C scenario. Based on current trajectories, the entire global automotive sector will need to increase annual zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) production by 80% from 2029 to 2030 to reach the IEA's 1.5°C-aligned 2030 target on ZEVs, with only Mercedes-Benz and Tesla appearing to be aligned with the IEA's 1.5C trend for zero-emission vehicle production by 2029 (which requires 57.5% of all vehicle sales to be zero-emission by 2030).

  • Vehicles with internal combustion engines still dominate future production. Despite a shift towards zero-emission vehicles, 68% of light-duty vehicles in production are forecast to be powered by internal combustion engines, whereas only 32% of global vehicles produced will be zero-emission (battery-electric or hydrogen-powered) in 2029.

  • Growing SUV sales threaten automotive sector decarbonization. The production of SUVs is forecasted to increase from 39% of all light-duty vehicles in 2020, to 47% of all vehicles by 2029. Consequently, the rapid growth in SUV production across major markets may cancel out much of the emissions reductions from increased BEV sales, threatening Paris Agreement goals.

The 'ZEV production' graph below compares automakers’ previous and forecasted production of zero-emission vehicles (BEVs and FCEVs), with data extrapolated from the IEA’s 1.5C scenario for road transport in 2030.

The ‘Vehicle Type’ graph below outlines the previous and forecasted technology of vehicles produced by major automakers from 2021-2029 using IHS Markit data.

The ‘Vehicle Size’ graph below outlines the previous and forecasted future size of vehicles produced by major automakers from 2021-2029 using IHS Markit data.

Select a Region :

ZEV production vs IEA's 1.5°C scenario

Percentage ZEV and PHEVs all produced worldwide

Fleet Composition by Vehicle Technology

Number of vehicles produced by all worldwide

Fleet Composition by Vehicle Type

Number of vehicles produced by all worldwide

A Vehicle Emissions Model Based on Production Data

See our methodology section for full details.

The 'Vehicle Efficiency Model' below provides a simplified model of automakers' current and future fleet emissions based on combining forecasted light-duty vehicle production data supplied by IHS (broken down by manufacturer, vehicle size, and technology type) with indicative vehicle-type emission values, produced by the EU’s testing regime.

The graph shows;

While this model should not be considered a definitive prediction of future emissions values for vehicle manufacturers, it can be seen as a best-possible estimation of future tailpipe emissions made using the available emissions data. Future real-world emissions will likely vary depending on region, as well as granular differences between different vehicles that are not captured by the model. As the EU has amongst the strictest vehicle regulations globally, the model's emissions values likely underestimate real-world emissions of vehicles sold outside the EU.

Key findings:

  • Global automotive emissions reductions are not keeping pace with global climate goals. Automakers' investments in zero-emission vehicles are not keeping pace with the rapid transition required to meet the key goals of the Paris Agreement. It estimates that by 2029, global real-world emissions for light duty vehicles may be significantly higher than what is needed for even a 2°C pathway (see graph below).

  • Japanese automakers are least prepared for a zero-emissions transition. The three lowest performing automakers in the model are from Japan, with all three automakers forecast to produce high numbers of internal combustion engine (ICE) powered hybrids and plug-in hybrids over battery electric vehicles, increasing their emissions by 2029 compared to key competitors.

The 'Fleet Efficiency' graph below provides a simplified model of all twelve automakers' total current and future emissions based on combining EU vehicle emissions data with forecasted light-duty vehicle production data supplied by IHS. The three lines represent the estimated lab emissions (modeled on EU testing data) and estimated real-world emissions (based on research from the ICCT) for the company, alongside the green line.

The ‘Vehicle Efficiency Comparison’ graph below compares the simplified emissions model data of all automakers from 2021-29

Select a Region :

Vehicle Efficiency Model Based on Production Data

Percentage ZEV and PHEVs all produced worldwide

Vehicle Efficiency Comparison Model Based on Production Data

Number of vehicles produced by all worldwide