Gasoline Automobiles, Vans and Light-Duty Vehicles

The global automobile industry has seen a rapid evolution in recent years, especially with the shift towards electrification. However, gasoline internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles still occupy a significant portion of the market, particularly in the commercial fleet segment. This research delves into the recent advancements in ICEs, their impacts, and future prospects.

Recent Advancements in Gasoline ICEs

The last decade witnessed an evolution in gasoline ICEs, where manufacturers have been making significant strides towards enhancing their efficiency and reducing their emissions. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Variable Valve Timing (VVT): The introduction of VVT has allowed for improved engine efficiency, reduced emissions, and enhanced power output. It works by altering the timing of the intake and exhaust valves opening and closing, optimizing the engine's operation across different speed ranges.
  • Turbocharging and Direct Fuel Injection: These technologies help improve fuel efficiency while also increasing power. Direct fuel injection allows for better control of the fuel-air mixture in the engine, improving combustion efficiency. Turbochargers use waste exhaust gases to force more air into the combustion chamber, resulting in a more robust explosion and more power output.
  • Start-Stop Systems: Start-stop systems automatically shut off the engine when the vehicle is stationary, such as at a traffic light, reducing idle fuel consumption and emissions.

GHG Emissions and GGE

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average gasoline-powered vehicle emits about 8,887 grams of CO2 per gallon of gasoline consumed, or roughly 19.6 pounds of CO2 per gallon. Therefore, one GGE can be considered as approximately 8,887 grams (or 0.0089 metric tons) of CO2.

The advancements mentioned above have considerably reduced fuel consumption and, consequently, GHG emissions. For instance, a modern high-efficiency gasoline engine may consume only about 30 GGE per 100 miles traveled, compared to 50 GGE per 100 miles in older models. However, despite these improvements, gasoline engines continue to contribute significantly to global GHG emissions.

Sustainability Implications and Socio-Economic Costs

Gasoline ICEs, despite recent advancements, still have a considerable environmental footprint. These vehicles contribute to climate change, air pollution, and dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels, implying significant social and environmental costs.

  • Economic Costs: In terms of direct costs, gasoline-powered vehicles can be expensive to operate due to fuel costs and maintenance expenses. Moreover, there are indirect economic costs such as healthcare costs linked to air pollution-related illnesses, cleanup costs associated with oil spills, and costs associated with climate change effects.
  • Environmental Costs: The environmental impacts of gasoline ICEs are primarily due to GHG emissions contributing to global warming and climate change. Additionally, these vehicles are significant sources of pollutants like Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and Particulate Matter (PM), which contribute to air pollution.
  • Social Costs: These include adverse health effects due to air pollution, such as respiratory diseases and premature deaths. Also, there are geopolitical costs associated with dependency on oil, often leading to conflicts and social unrest.

Future of Gasoline ICE Automobiles: Production and Demand Forecast

With the growing urgency to mitigate climate change and the advent of more efficient, cleaner technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs), the trend for gasoline ICE vehicles seems to be on a decline.

  • United States: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the production of gasoline vehicles in the U.S. is projected to decrease from 10.5 million units in 2022 to about 7 million units by 2030. This reduction will be mainly due to tighter emission regulations and a shift in consumer preference towards EVs.
  • Global: Globally, a similar trend is expected. The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts a reduction in gasoline vehicle production from approximately 67 million units in 2022 to about 50 million units by 2030. This decline is primarily due to the increasing adoption of EVs, tightening emission norms worldwide, and rising fuel prices.


While advancements in gasoline ICEs have led to improved fuel efficiency and reduced GHG emissions, these engines still significantly contribute to climate change and other socio-economic and environmental costs. The global trend suggests a shift away from gasoline-powered vehicles towards cleaner, more sustainable technologies such as EVs. Therefore, while ICEs may continue to have a presence in the near future, their dominance in the automotive industry appears to be on the decline.

Further studies and innovation in alternative, renewable technologies will undoubtedly play a critical role in shaping the future of the automotive industry and, ultimately, our planet's sustainability.