Publication Detail

What Can Transport Deliver? Contrasting Scenario Pathways with New Technology Penetration


Working Paper

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

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Suggested Citation:
Kobayashi, Shigeki, Lewis Fulton, Maria Figueroa (2017) What Can Transport Deliver? Contrasting Scenario Pathways with New Technology Penetration. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Working Paper UCD-ITS-WP-17-02

We compare detailed projections of transport energy consumption and CO2 emissions up to the year 2050 and review representative pathways towards the specific mitigation targets outlined in the Fifth Assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-AR5), contrasting sectoral and integrated assessment model studies. Considering the potentials of various measures for CO2 emission reduction, we find that the projections for prospective energy use reduction and fuel switching are broadly consistent between sectoral and integrated studies. Both types of studies indicate that near-term actions emphasizing the intensification of efficiency improvements, modal shifts, and other behavioural changes along with a longer-term transition to low-carbon fuels offer a high mitigation potential for CO2 emission reduction. Further, these actions are contrasted with the current trends in the evolution of penetration rates for new car and fuel technologies globally. The current level of penetration for hybrids, electric vehicles and biofuels is 2-3% globally, which is far below of the level of 30% or higher required by 2°C scenario in the 2050 time frame. The results of this study suggest there is a mismatch between current penetration rates and those needed for global transport to reach identified targets as part of achieving broader climate stabilization targets. Of paramount significance is the strong improvement rates in vehicle efficiency and countries should redouble their efforts to set strong targets and policies, rather than backtracking at this time.

Keywords: Transport Sector, Scenario Analysis, Energy Reduction, CO2 Reduction, Mitigation Technologies, Fuel Efficiency