Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Behavior-influencing policies are critical for mass market success of low carbon vehicles

17.07.2018

Policies to entice consumers away from fossil-fuel powered vehicles and normalize low carbon, alternative-fuel alternatives, such as electric vehicles, are vital if the world is to significantly reduce transport sector carbon emissions, according to new research.

The new study, led by IIASA researcher David McCollum and IIASA and University of East Anglia, UK, researcher Charlie Wilson, is the first to take a global look at the non-financial reasons why consumers choose certain vehicles, and the long-term energy and carbon emissions implications those choices may have.


It is not just the upfront costs and running costs that a consumer will look at; they will also consider attributes such as the available models and brands, comfort, acceleration, and interior space, and the availability of infrastructure such as refueling stations, which are still lacking for most types of alternative-fuel vehicles, particularly electric and hydrogen vehicles. Additionally, most consumers lack first-hand experience with these novel technologies.

Transport is responsible for 25% of energy-related CO2 emissions globally, with half of that coming from private passenger vehicles. More than 90% of such vehicles are powered by internal combustion engines burning oil-derived fuels. Encouraging the use of low-carbon alternatives is an essential part of meeting climate change targets as well as improving local air quality and health.

The researchers found that focusing on the behavioral aspects of consumers in vehicle purchase decisions is key to encouraging the rapid uptake of plug-in hybrid vehicles, battery-electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Making conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles more expensive to run – through increased fuel or carbon taxes – is not enough to incentivize the majority of consumers to change. However, carbon taxes can be critical in pushing electricity providers to decarbonize their operations.

“Alternative-fuel vehicles will play a critical role in the effort to avoid dangerous climate change, but only if measures to stimulate their adoption in cities – with positive climate, air quality, and health outcomes – are combined with policies to drive fossil fuels out of the electricity mix in favor of renewables and other low-carbon resources,” says McCollum.

The researchers employed six global energy-economy models in the study, upgrading the tools so that they could more adequately represent consumers and their behavior and preferences. They modeled two different future scenarios for alternative-fuel vehicle policy worldwide to 2050.

‘AFV Push’ imagines a future where policy and social nudges lead consumers to be less risk averse, allowing low carbon vehicles and their requisite refueling and recharging infrastructure become the norm. In contrast, ‘No AFV’ imagines current views of these vehicles persisting, due to minimal policy support, low levels of consumer awareness, and limited infrastructure.

The models show that a mix of robust transport policies and strategies could increase the market share of alternative-fuel vehicles to more than 25% of all passenger cars and trucks by 2050, perhaps even higher. This would amount to some 500 million of these vehicles worldwide by mid-century. Without any such policies, the market for alternative-fuel vehicles will remain very niche, with a market share hovering around 1% for the foreseeable future – in other words hardly greater than today.

Behavior-influencing policies to encourage the use of alternative-fuel vehicles include a suite of options: fuel taxes, vehicle subsidies, technology mandates and efficiency standards, investment in refueling infrastructure and dedicated parking spaces, as well as social media campaigns and car-sharing networks to demonstrate the technology. The difference these policies can make, if applied in a multi-pronged strategy, can already be seen in countries that strongly support the use of alternative-fuel vehicles, such as China, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. In Norway for example, 40% of passenger cars sold in 2017 were either battery-electrics or plug-in hybrids.

“Our research indicates that, when considering the wide range of non-financial attributes over which vehicle purchasers express preferences, alternative-fuel vehicles will be a hard sell to many for some time to come. The good news is that this is where dedicated transport policies and measures can help – and in fact are already helping,” says Wilson.

Stimulating the market for alternative-fuel vehicles will also likely lead to cost reductions and improvements in critical technologies, such as batteries and rapid charging infrastructure. McCollum and the team argue that policies over the next few years can leverage the power of social influences, for example early adopters of novel technologies communicating recognized benefits to individuals in the wider mainstream market, thereby eventually reducing the present-day negative perceptions surrounding alternative-fuel vehicles and ultimately normalizing their purchase and use.

The researchers add that their results are relevant for multiple stakeholders, including governments, vehicle manufacturers, and companies involved in wider transport activities, such as installing refueling and recharging infrastructure.

Reference
McCollum DL, Wilson C, Bevione M, Carrara S, Edelenbosch OY, Emmerling J, Guivarch C, Karkatsoulis P, et al. (2018) Interaction of consumer preferences and climate policies in the global transition to low-carbon vehicles. Nature Energy DOI: 10.1038/s41560-018-0195-z [pure.iiasa.ac.at/15365]

This study was conducted within the context of the EU FP7 ‘ADVANCE’ project, set up in 2013. ADVANCE developed a new generation of advanced integrated assessment models and applied the improved models to explore different climate mitigation policy options in the post-Paris framework. The project ended in December 2016. http://www.fp7-advance.eu/

About IIASA:
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an international scientific institute that conducts research into the critical issues of global environmental, economic, technological, and social change that we face in the twenty-first century. Our findings provide valuable options to policymakers to shape the future of our changing world. IIASA is independent and funded by prestigious research funding agencies in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. www.iiasa.ac.at

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

David McCollum
Senior Research Scholar
Energy
Tel: +43 2236 807 586
mccollum@iiasa.ac.at

Originalpublikation:

Helen Tunnicliffe
IIASA Press Office
Tel: +43 2236 807 316
Mob: +43 676 83 807 316
tunnicli@iiasa.ac.at

Miss Helen Tunnicliffe | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Researchers measure near-perfect performance in low-cost semiconductors
18.03.2019 | Stanford University

nachricht Robot arms with the flexibility of an elephant’s trunk
18.03.2019 | Universität des Saarlandes

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>