The need for sustainable transition is gaining increasing awareness globally. Among this big picture, my research addresses the direct and indirect role that multinational enterprises (MNEs) play in tackling the environmental grand challenges included in the UN Sustainable Developments Goals. By focusing on the rising new-energy global automobile industry (e.g., electric/hybrid vehicles and batteries), the study involves not only the focal automobile enterprises but also their global value chains (GVCs) and the related country-level infrastructures to offer a comprehensive and multi-level analysis. My research contributes to the assessment and measurement of the environmental and social performance of MNEs and GVCs, by adding more evaluative tools for international business research and addressing the limited external validity of current MNEs’ impact evaluation. My work also aims to better understand the trade-offs underlying energy transition by uncovering the possible hidden costs (e.g., technological exclusion, extra infrastructure) and benefits (e.g., cleaner cities, cross-fertilization of innovations to other fields) across industries and countries, beyond the MNE level of analysis. This analysis will provide novel insights for region- and industry-level policymaking and offer informative guidelines for firm-level investments.