The transportation sector is responsible for almost a third of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions, more than any other sector. Between 1990 and 2017, emissions from transportation increased more than any other sector in absolute terms, underscoring the importance of addressing sector emissions to help meet climate change goals. There are more reasons to reassess how we power transportation beyond just reducing emissions. As explained in our recent webinar series, some experts say that diversifying our choice of fuels could help support the American economy and potentially free us from dependence on foreign oil.
The global market for alternative fuels is currently growing at a compound annual rate of 13.1% and is expected to be worth approximately $592.30 billion by 2022. In terms of total costs of ownership, battery electric vehicles are expected to become cheaper than internal combustion vehicles in just a few years, and they are expected to reach 35% of new car sales globally by 2040. Despite these trends, petroleum-based fuels still account for roughly 92% of total U.S. transportation energy use. Potential solutions to address our dependency on petroleum and its related greenhouse gas emissions include creating a competitive fuel market or, as some states and regions are doing, creating policies to encourage emission reductions in the transportation sector.
Learn more in our webinar series on the subject:
Part one – Policy and the Future of Transportation Fuels
Question 1: What policies will be most effective in reducing transportation sector emissions?
The most effective policy to reduce transportation emissions would be to ban the sale of fossil-fuel vehicles within 10 years, like some other countries have done. On top of that,… Read more »
Now that vehicles have overtaken electricity generation as our country’s biggest contributor to CO2 and other greenhouse gas & particulate matter, it makes sense to target that area now. But… Read more »
Michael: To clarify, I believe the policy (at least at first) would be to ban the sale of new FF cars in about 10 years, not to ban the use… Read more »
Policies to accelerate the transition from fossil-fueled vehicles to EVs are well and good. However, let’s not lose sight of the fact that there are other good ways to reduce… Read more »
Question 2: Should the federal government enact stronger policies to support changes in transportation or is this best left to the individual states?
I’m biased, but I think our state governments work better than our federal government. And states are working together on better policy issues, because the federal government simply hasn’t been… Read more »
Question 3: Should policy focus on a specific alternative fuel technologies or take an all-of-the-above approach?
It seems pretty clear at this point that transportation is moving towards electrification (EVs). Biofuels and hydrogen are simply not as efficient and are more expensive and complex than batteries… Read more »
I favor an all of the above approach. Let the private sector sort it out. EVs are still in their infancy, and while battery-based options have a head start, they… Read more »
Michael: While green hydrogen is coming to market, it is still much more expensive than methane-based hydrogen. In any case, it takes about twice as much renewable energy to go… Read more »
I also agree with an “all of above approach. The key is to build infrastructure that seeks to optimize and maximize utilization of anticipated excess energy from cheap renewables. Conversion… Read more »
The current grid is “dumb” and our energy infrastructure is designed around that. But the future smart grid will have devices — especially electric vehicles — that will charge when… Read more »
Missing from the discussion is that the pandemic has dramatically changed transportation futures. Its a whole new ballgame with very different and currently unknown rules. Conventional mass transit as we… Read more »
[…] „The Future of Transportation Fuels“, by the International Energy Agency […]