Within the 28 member states of the European Union (EU-28), 71.7% of transport emissions in 2017 were due to road transport and a policy commitment was made to reduce emissions from the transport sector as a whole by 60% by 2050 (against a 1990 baseline) (1). Going forward, and supported by policy, a stratification of passenger car powertrain options is anticipated, with customers able to choose from a zero-tailpipe emission battery electric vehicle (BEV), fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) or a selection of hybridised vehicles ranging from a mild to a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Further to this, technology improvements and connectivity between vehicle and energy generation and supply offer further opportunities to accelerate reduction in carbon emissions in the transport sector. The structure of this new transport paradigm is pathway dependent. Multiple conflicts exist, pulling the system in different directions and threatening its sustainability. This paper explores the link between policy and the impact this has upon the direction that road transport is taking, focusing on technology options and highlighting some of the dichotomies that exist between policy and the requirement for a sustainable road transport solution.