Zero Emission Vehicle Can Reduce Emission By 80% In US: NREL

Highlights :

  • The report said that adopting ZEVs could help US to reduce 80% GHG emissions by 2050.
  • It said that no single technology, policy, or behavioral change could aid in meeting targets.
Zero Emission Vehicle Can Reduce Emission By 80% In US: NREL

A latest report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) stated that the adoption of zero-emission electric vehicles (EV) in the US would allow the nation to move closer to an 80% or more drop in transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. This, the report said would lead to a drop of the emissions from the 2019 level. 

The researchers advised that “no single technology, policy, or behavioral change” is enough to reach the target, eliminating tailpipe emissions. “There are reasons to be optimistic and several remaining areas to explore,” said Chris Hoehne, a mobility systems research scientist at NREL and the lead author of the new paper detailing the routes that could be taken.

The paper titled “exploring decarbonization pathways for US passenger and freight mobility,” appeared in the journal Nature Communications. Hoehne’s co-authors from NREL are Matteo Muratori, Paige Jadun, Brian Bush, Artur Yip, Catherine Ledna, and Laura Vimmerstedt. Two other co-authors are from the US Department of Energy. In the paper, they found that, while most vehicles today burn fossil fuels, a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) relies on alternate sources of power, such as batteries or hydrogen.

The researchers analyzed in detail 50 deep decarbonization scenarios, showing that rapid adoption of ZEVs is essential alongside a simultaneous transition to a clean electric grid. Using a model called ‘Transportation Energy & Mobility Pathway Options (TEMPO)’, the researchers performed more than 2,000 simulations to determine what will be needed to decarbonize passenger and freight travel. The study explored changes in technology, behavior, and policies to envision how passenger and freight systems could successfully transition to a sustainable future.

The report found that behaviour comes into play in considering shifts in population and travel needs. “The transportation sector accounts for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, and about two-thirds of all that is from personal vehicle travel,” Hoehne said. 

“Recent progress in technology coupled with the pressing need to address both the climate crisis and air quality issues have elevated the importance of clean transportation solutions,” said Muratori, manager of the Transportation Energy Transition Analysis group and architect of the TEMPO model. “This shift has made transitioning the entire sector towards sustainability an achievable goal and a top priority in the United States and worldwide,” Hoehne said.

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