Climate impact of the electrification of road transport in a short-term perspective
2013 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
To reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the transport sector, replacing conventional vehicles with electric vehicles (EVs) is considered a desirable alternative. Due to increased integration of renewable energy sources in electricity generation, EVs are often considered emission-free although current electricity generation is largely dependent on fossil fuels. By 2018, the European Union (EU) requires biofuels to ensure 60% emission reductions in a lifecycle perspective, in order to avoid unsustainable production. No such criteria apply to EVs, although several European countries aim for an EV mass market by 2020. This study aims to show how a rapid, large-scale deployment of EVs will affect the GHG emissions, using Sweden as an example. GHG emissions from the energy use of electric and conventional vehicles are compared, applying a life cycle perspective on the fuels. Results show that with assumed electricity generation, EVs cause GHG emissions 25% higher than emissions from conventional vehicles. Hence, in a short-term perspective, a large-scale introduction of EVs is not beneficial for the climate. Nonetheless, a comprehensive approach to EVs, similar to EUs biofuel sustainability policy, may help reduce GHG emissions from the electricity generation system.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Electric vehicles, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, Environment
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112508OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-112508DiVA: diva2:766960
13th World Conference on Transport Research (WCTR 2013), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 15-18, 2013
FunderSwedish Energy Agency