IEA Experts’ Dialogue on Material Trends in Transport


Meeting Scope

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is embarking on a project to analyse material efficiency strategies and material use trends in different sectors of the economy. The project aims to estimate trends in the demand for key materials in the context of 2°C ambitions, as well as the resulting system-level impacts on energy demand and related CO2 emissions. As policy and markets drive the uptake of more sustainable transport patterns and technologies to meet climate objectives, the linkages between material demand and GDP are likely to diverge from historic trends. Demand for materials in transport may change due to strategies such as lightweighting and developing longer-lasting vehicles, intensifying vehicle use through new models of vehicle use (such as fleet-owned provision of mobility services), enhancing component reusability and recyclability, expanding public transit systems, and improving pavement durability and sustainability. These strategies will affect both the quantity and composition of materials demand, which will in turn have implications for CO2 emissions from the industrial sectors that produce key materials like steel, cement and aluminium. To provide strategic insights to this project, the IEA hosted an experts’ dialogue on 8 March 2018 in Paris. 

Workshop presentations and discussions explored current and future trends of materials use in transportation equipment and infrastructure, the implications of emerging transport technologies for materials demand, possible strategies to improve material efficiency and reduce the impact of material use in transport, and analytical methods for assessing current and future materials demand in the sector.

Target Audience

The meeting brought together leading experts and key stakeholders in materials production, vehicles manufacturing and transport infrastructure materials design and production from industry and the research community. 



David Turk, IEA

IEA analysis objective, scope and timeframe

Understanding the Materials Implications of the 2DS: Araceli Fernandez-Pales, IEA

Session 1: Materials use and manufacturing trends in light-duty vehicles

Moderator: Pierpaolo Cazzola, International Energy Agency


Analysis of material use in light-duty vehicles across powertrains: Michael Wang, Argonne National Laboratory

The impact of technology trends on materials in passenger car fleets: Maria Ljunggren Söderman, Chalmers University of Technology 

Session 2: Materials use and manufacturing trends in other transport modes

Moderator: Ferenc Pekár, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT): Fuel saving potentials for heavy-duty vehicles, trains, ships, and aircraft: Gregory Keoleian, University of Michigan

The potential for material substitution and new vehicle designs in trucks and buses: Dimitrios Savvidis, Directorate General Climate Action of the European Commission

Transport vehicles material requirements – Modelling in the IEA 2DS Scenario

Vehicle materials modelling in the IEA mobility model: Jacob Teter, IEA

Session 3: Materials use and design trends in roads and pavements

Moderator: Eric Masanet, Northwestern University


Determinants of material intensities and environmental impacts of roadway designs: Arpad Horvath, University of California, Berkeley

Concrete roads in Germany case study: Design parameters and challenges: Thomas Matschei HTW Dresden

Session 4: Materials use and design trends in rail and port infrastructure

Moderator: Nikolai Shevtsov, World Steel Association


Rail concrete and steel use from a life cycle lens: Mikhail Chester, Arizona State University

Steel use in transport from a sustainability perspective: Toru Ono, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal

Transport infrastructure material requirements – Modelling in the IEA 2DS Scenario

Infrastructure materials modelling: Tiffany Vass, IEA