Driving a greener future

The automotive sector is a cornerstone of Europe’s economy. But it’s facing unprecedented change: technology, environment and markets are all in flux. We help companies, industry associations and governments navigate the road ahead.

The automotive industry is crucial to Europe’s prosperity.

It provides 6% of all employment in the EU, and its turnover amounts to over 7% of the bloc’s GDP. It attracts huge private investments in R&D, and it plays a central multiplying role for upstream and downstream industries.

Perhaps most crucial of all, it provides the backbone of most of the continent’s economic activity: the mobility of people and goods.

We work with car manufacturers, automotive suppliers, industry associations and governments to create long-term economic strategies. Our expertise and in-depth industry knowledge, combined with our understanding of the energy sector and climate policy, enable us to help our clients:

  • plan for climate targets
  • assess infrastructure needs
  • navigate competition policy.
Lifecycle analysis

Lifecycle analyses assess a vehicle’s carbon footprint throughout its whole life, to show how green it really is.

This includes the energy sources it uses and the emissions it creates, from the manufacturing of its raw materials to the scrapyard it ends up in.

We work with car manufacturers, automotive suppliers and industry associations to carry out comprehensive lifecycle analyses.


Vehicle electrification is an industry revolution, and it has a crucial role to play in achieving Europe’s climate targets.

Change on this scale requires economic planning. Electrification means new infrastructure, subsidy schemes, regulation, and competition challenges. We work with our clients to define strategies for all of these.

Electrification is also transforming vehicles into digital end-user devices. This creates business opportunities, but also requires  responsibility for data management. We help our clients plan for and manage this.

Green fuels

Reaching net zero means adopting a wide range of solutions – not just relying on electric cars.

Green fuels like hydrogen and e-fuels are an important part of the industry’s energy transition. Combined with electrification, they provide the most economical solution for safe energy supply.

Policy makers and industry leaders need to consider the role of green fuels in the sector’s future. We help them develop strategies to create the optimum technology mix.

Climate policy

Vehicles today are far more energy efficient than they used to be. But the transport sector remains the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Transforming the automotive industry’s use of energy is therefore crucial to global climate policy. We combine economic principles with in-depth understanding of the energy sector and climate policy to advise car manufacturers, automotive suppliers and governments on how climate targets can be reached.

Read more about our work in Climate Change.


Existing business models are being questioned and new technologies are evolving faster than ever. This creates new competition challenges.

We advise manufacturers and suppliers on all aspects of competition policy, including market investigations and sector inquiries, mergers and acquisitions, horizontal and vertical agreements, and damages litigation.

Read more about out work in Competition at Frontier Economics.

CO2 pools

In 2009, the EU introduced mandatory CO2 limits for average fleet emissions. To help stay compliant, different vehicle manufacturers can group together in a pool and have their fleet emissions assessed jointly. 

But pooling in this way raises competition issues around the exchange of information. To ensure compliance, we act as an independent adviser for car manufacturer pools.

Read more about our work:


The automotive sector is a vital component of international trade. And international trade is crucial to the sector.

Nearly half of the vehicles made in the EU are exported. In major European nations, much of the value of automotive exports is made up of inputs from other countries. And trade policies have an important role in the transition to low-emission technologies.

Our expertise helps clients navigate the complexities of automotive trade. Read more about our work on international trade here.

Auction Support

E-mobility plays a crucial role in achieving Europe’s climate targets.

The availability of suitable charging infrastructure influences consumer choice regarding whether or not to purchase an electric vehicle. Large-scale investments in infrastructure raises questions on public support, state aid, regulation, competition and consumer behaviour, and opportunities for lower income customers to participate in the low carbon transition.

We support private and public sector clients through a wide range of services:

  • Auction / tender design 
  • Design of interventions to deliver social benefits
  • State aid notification
  • Business case analysis
  • Regulation
  • Transport system modelling

Read about our work helping to push forward high power fast-charging in Germany here.