Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Electric cars - Solution to reduce CO2 emissions?

If world wants to avoid the worst of climate change then our global emissions will have to significantly decline in years to come. Many believe that the easiest way to achieve this would be if we would to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. In light of this, there was this one very interesting research conducted by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. The main conclusion of this research is that electric cars look like better solution for reducing emissions and lowering U.S. oil imports than a national renewable portfolio standard.

According to this study "the single most effective way to reduce U.S. oil demand and foreign imports would be an aggressive campaign to launch electric vehicles into the automotive fleet."

The researchers have calculated that mandating that 30 percent of all vehicles be electric by 2050 would not only reduce U.S. oil use by 2.5 million barrels a day beyond the 3 million barrels-per-day savings already expected from new corporate average fuel efficiency standards, but also cut emissions by 7 percent, while the proposed national renewable portfolio standard (RPS) would cut them by only 4 percent over the same time.

The researchers also concluded that "business-as-usual market-related trends might propel the United States toward greater oil and natural gas self-sufficiency over the next 20 years while scenarios specifically focused on strict carbon caps and pricing or a high carbon tax of $60 a tonne or more could lead to a significant increase in U.S. reliance on oil imports between now and 2025. A carbon tax of $30 a tonne would also increase U.S. dependence on imports of foreign liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2025."

If electric cars could really be of great help to reduce carbon emissions then the good news is that electric cars industry has started to grow in United States, with many new facilities opening across the US territory.