By: David L. Greene and Steven E. Plotkin
Download this paper (pdf)
Project Director: Judi Greenwald
Project Manager: Nick Nigro
This report examines the prospects for substantially reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the U.S. transportation sector, which accounts for 27 percent of the GHG emissions of the entire U.S. economy and 30 percent of the world’s transportation GHG emissions. Without shifts in existing policies, the U.S. transportation sector’s GHG emissions are expected to grow by about 10 percent by 2035, and will still account for a quarter of global transportation emissions at that time. If there is to be any hope that damages from climate change can be held to moderate levels, these trends must change.
This report shows that through a combination of policies and improved technologies, these trends can be changed. It is possible to cut GHG emissions from the transportation sector cost-effectively by up to 65 percent below 2010 levels by 2050 by improving vehicle efficiency, shifting to less carbon intensive fuels, changing travel behavior, and operating more efficiently. A major co-benefit of reducing transportation’s GHG emissions is the resulting reductions in oil use and improvements in energy security.
It develops three scenarios that diverge from “business as usual,” based on the assumption that the United States is willing to change the incentives and regulations that affect the design of vehicles, the types of fuels that are used, the choices made by individuals and businesses in purchasing and using vehicles, and how communities and their transportation infrastructure are built and used.
This report is an update of the Center's 2003 report on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions From U.S. Transportation
Related white papers on Transportation Reauthorization:
About the Authors:
David L. Greene is a Corporate Fellow of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Senior Fellow of the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy and a Research Professor of Economics at the University of Tennessee. He is an author of more than 200 publications on transportation and energy issues. Mr. Greene is an emeritus member of both the Energy and Alternative Fuels Committees of the Transportation Research Board and a lifetime National Associate of the National Academies. He received the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Barry D. McNutt Award for Excellence in Automotive Policy Analysis, the Department of Energy’s 2007 Hydrogen R&D Award, and was recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for contributions to the IPCC’s receipt of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University, an M.A. from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University.
Steven Plotkin is a staff scientist with Argonne National Laboratory’s Center for Transportation Research, specializing in analysis of transportation energy efficiency. He has worked extensively on automobile fuel economy technology and policy as a consultant to the Department of Energy, and was a co-principal investigator on ANL’s Multi-Path Transportation Futures Study. Mr. Plotkin was a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change and has been selected to participate on the Fifth Assessment Report. He was for 17 years a Senior Analyst and Senior Associate with the Energy Program of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) and prior to that he was an environmental engineer with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Plotkin has a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Columbia University and a Master of Engineering (Aerospace) degree from Cornell University. He is the 2005 recipient of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Barry D. McNutt Award for Excellence in Automotive Policy Analysis.
Feb. 19, 2014
Contact: Laura Rehrmann, email@example.com, 703-516-0621
C2ES highlights findings from 16 plug-in electric vehicle initiatives
WASHINGTON -- Cities and states are building the expertise needed to encourage mass market adoption of electric vehicles, according to a new report prepared by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) for the U.S. Department of Energy.
The report summarizes the lessons learned from 16 government, educational and nonprofit groups that received $8.5 million in Energy Department grants to advance the deployment of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Participants in projects across 24 states and the District of Columbia spent 18 months assessing the barriers to and opportunities for PEV deployment in their regions and preparing and executing plans.=
“This report is designed to be useful to public officials, business leaders, and any decision-maker interested in unlocking the economic and environmental benefits of electric vehicles," said C2ES President Eileen Claussen. “Expanding adoption of advanced technology and alternative fuel vehicles will help Americans save money, keep more money in local economies, minimize pollution, and increase energy security.”
“To expand the market for PEVs, we’ll need policies that make it easier to own and operate PEVs, strategically deploy vehicle charging stations, and integrate PEVs into the electrical grid,” said report author Matt Frades. “By laying out strategies for ongoing work and forging new partnerships, the efforts begun across the country under these grants will foster PEV deployment for years to come.”
The C2ES report, “A Guide to the Lessons Learned from the Clean Cities Community Electric Vehicle Readiness Projects,” highlights some of the key findings, including:
- Public outreach about PEVs raises awareness, dispels misconceptions, and supports prudent policy. More information will help consumers make choices and help businesses and governments make decisions about charging station deployment.
- Incentives help overcome the roadblocks to early PEV adoption. Income tax credits and other incentives such as high-occupancy vehicle lane access have spurred PEV purchases
- Access to charging is vital at multi-family residences and workplaces. These are the two highest priority charging locations after single-family homes, but obstacles include low early demand, lack of familiarity with PEVs, and questions about recovering costs.
- Local governments play a key role in charging station deployment. Both public and private charging infrastructure can be governed by local permitting, inspection, building codes, and zoning, parking, and signage rules.
- Electric utilities should plan for PEV adoption. Utilities will need to ensure the grid is responsive to increased demand from PEVs. They can also explore how PEVs can help manage the grid using emerging technologies.
C2ES collaborated with the Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory on the report to help communities across the country learn from the actions grant recipients took to identify and overcome barriers to PEV deployment.
Read the C2ES synthesis report: http://bit.ly/c2esevready
Read the 16 PEV readiness plans: http://www.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/electric_vehicle_projects.html.
Read the DOE blog: 10 Ways Communities Can Pave the Way for PEVs
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Learn more at www.c2es.org.
Electric Vehicle Readiness Project Highlights
South Coast Air Quality Management District
Region covered: California, with individual plans covering the Bay Area, Central Coast, Sacramento, San Diego, San Joaquin, and South Coast regions
Highlights: More than 500 local planning officials and members of the public attended the California grantee’s community workshops on the basics of PEV technology, ownership and charging. This workshop model could be replicated elsewhere. The grantee also developed a detailed toolkit with links to resources and sample language for local policies.
American Lung Association of the Southwest
Region covered: Colorado
Highlights: The Colorado grantee performed a detailed well-to-wheels life cycle analysis, taking into account emissions from electricity generation, that concluded that the total emissions of greenhouse gases, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen oxides from PEVs driven in the state are consistently lower than emissions from conventional vehicles.
South Florida Regional Planning Council
Region covered: Southeast Florida region, with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: With multi-unit residences making up 41 percent of housing in Southeast Florida, the grantee developed fact sheets, seminars, and workshops to help residents make the case for charging stations and help building managers plan for them. The Florida grantee also completed a detailed master plan for a demonstration project for a car-sharing program along the U.S. 1 corridor in Miami Dade County. The plan calls for 15 to 20 percent of the car-share vehicles to be PEVs and for charging stations to be installed at 12 mass transit stations.
Report (Parts 1& 2):
Metropolitan Energy Information Center, Inc.
Region covered: Greater Kansas City area with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Kansas City grantee developed a model to test for weak points in the electricity distribution infrastructure under various scenarios of PEV adoption. The grantee conducted a technical analysis to support PEV travel between Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita, including identifying charging station sites, and developed a platform to facilitate future corridor development. The grantee also worked with local community colleges to develop curricula for PEV technician training programs.
University of Hawaii
Region covered: Maui, Hawaii with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Maui grantee planned a smart grid demonstration project in which 200 private, car share, and fleet PEV owner partners will interconnect with charge management systems (an electronic system that manages the timing of battery charging). The grantee also produced 12 episodes of a television program to inform the public about PEVs and developed an alliance of stakeholders that continues to collaborate with communities on PEVs throughout the state.
Clean Energy Coalition
Region covered: Michigan
Highlights: The Michigan grantee developed a toolkit for local communities with detailed recommendations, sample code language, and alternative approaches based on the desired level of action.
New York City and Lower Hudson Valley Clean Communities, Inc.
Region covered: New York City
Highlights: The New York City grantee investigated the feasibility of fast-charging taxi fleets and worked with managers of car share and retail delivery vehicle fleets to use PEVs. The grantee also developed a training manual on PEV operation and charging for garages and conducted training sessions for attendants.
Centralina Council of Governments
Region covered: North Carolina, with individual plans covering Greater Ashville, Greater Charlotte, Greater Triangle, Piedmont Triad regions as well as a statewide plan
Highlights: The North Carolina grantee compiled a detailed overview of PEV incentives offered in the state and throughout the country, presented survey results on the incentives that are desirable to fleet owners, and analyzed policy implications for the state. The effort also created structures for partnership and coordination among local and regional governments and stakeholders.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Region covered: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia
Highlights: The Northeast Regional grantee identified nine ideal types of locations for charging stations, with in-depth site typologies and case studies, to help public planners and private investors understand the opportunities and challenges inherent in each location type. The grantee also developed toolkits for how to best install charging stations, including diagrams and guidelines specific to installation settings (such as on-street parking, garages, and commercial lots). Another toolkit includes case studies and model codes for EV readiness to help local governments prepare for PEV adoption.
Clean Fuels Ohio
Region covered: Ohio
Highlights: The Ohio grantee analyzed the local economic impacts of fuel savings from PEV adoption and determined that out of every dollar spent on gasoline, only 16.4 cents continues to circulate in the Ohio economy. The Ohio grantee found a $1,300 economic benefit per PEV adopted in the state, in part, because saving money on gas allows consumers to spend locally.
Oregon Business Development Department
Region covered: Oregon
Highlights: The department staged ride-and-drive events to give consumers firsthand experience with PEVs. It also identified issues that are making organizations reluctant to install charging stations and recommended developing a workplace outreach and information program. The grantee is exploring financing options for public and nonprofit fleets that cannot access tax incentives and proposed a program to loan PEVs to fleet managers to raise awareness.
Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
Region covered: Richmond region, with consideration given to Virginia statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Richmond grantee organized high-profile events to educate the public about PEVs and forged new stakeholder partnerships in the community.
Center for Transportation and the Environment
Region covered: Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina
Highlights: The grantee analyzed the future need for charging infrastructure in its regions and developed plans for charging station deployment. The analysis indicated that the majority (57 percent) of charging will occur at home, followed by the workplace (26 percent). Only 17 percent of charging is projected to occur at public charging stations.
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
Region covered: Philadelphia-Camden-Trenton metropolitan area, including counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Highlights: The grantee analyzed household travel survey and demographic data to inform charging infrastructure investment and siting. The grantee concluded that many vehicles in its region can readily be replaced by PEVs and that a majority of the region’s charging demand can be met with residential and workplace charging.
Report (Parts 1 & 2):
City of Austin, Austin Energy
Region covered: Central Texas region, including the greater Austin and San Antonio communities, with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Texas River Cities grantee developed a tool to help electric utilities and private investors evaluate whether and how to invest in charging infrastructure. The grantee developed a best-practices guide, including a checklist and flowcharts that detail the specific roles and responsibilities of business owners, contractors, electric utilities, and government authorities. The grantee also developed a technical planning roadmap for PEV interoperability with the grid that characterizes the devices and systems necessary to enable smart grid applications, identifies and prioritizes all the points where existing and future technologies must interact, and lays out a plan for facilitating smart grid development.
Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies
Region covered: Texas Triangle region including Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston, and San Antonio-Austin urban areas, with consideration given to statewide policy and planning
Highlights: The Texas Triangle plan itemized a menu of activities to promote PEV readiness and proposed that the state establish a PEV-Friendly Community program to provide guidance to and recognition of localities that take actions to support PEVs. The grantee also planned demonstration projects for a fleet of electric medium-duty trucks to test their ability to generate extra revenue by selling electricity back to the grid when it is most needed.
Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States nearly doubled last year—and with consumer acceptance broadening, sticker prices dropping, new models on the way, and policy support growing, the outlook is even better for 2014.
In 2013, EVs increased their market share by 70 percent from 2012 levels, while all-vehicle sales grew 8 percent to reach a six-year high. Still, EV sales continue to lag forecasts made when these cars hit the market in late 2010, accounting for less than 1 percent of new light-duty vehicle sales. The strong growth in vehicle sales is mostly due to rising sales of gas-guzzling pickup trucks.
Optimism for EV market expansion is warranted, however, not only due to steady sales growth but also due to three key developments in 2013.
January 17, 2013
Contact: Laura Rehrmann, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-516-0621
C2ES interactive tool helps state transportation officers support electric vehicles
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With thousands of new electric vehicles hitting the road each month, state transportation departments need to know how to integrate these transformative vehicles into the systems they manage.
That’s why the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions has developed an interactive Plug-in Electric Vehicle Action Tool, which guides state transportation officials through a variety of possible actions to foster an electric vehicle market in their state.
The tool, which C2ES developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Transportation and eight state transportation departments, was unveiled this week at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting attended by more than 11,000 transportation professionals.
Using the tool’s Actions Map, state transportation officials can chart a path, from determining their goals for plug-in electric vehicle deployment to implementing new programs and policies. The tool helps officials answer such questions as: What should be the state’s role in deploying charging stations? What’s the best way to explain the public benefits of electric vehicles? How can we build consensus with stakeholders for action?
The tool is also a resource for learning about plug-in electric vehicles and best practices from other state agencies. Many of the suggested actions and resources are also applicable to other state agencies and local governments.
Electric vehicles offer a transformative opportunity to address energy security, air quality, climate change, and economic growth. Sales for electric vehicles rose 200 percent from 2011 to 2012. But sustained growth is needed to fully realize their benefits.
“State transportation departments are playing an important role in defining public policy that can support electric vehicle deployment,’’ said Judi Greenwald, Vice President of Technology and Innovation at C2ES. “The PEV Action Tool provides them with all the necessary information on what actions they can take – whether their state is just getting started or leading the way.”
Initially spearheaded by Washington State Department of Transportation, the project also included the state DOTs from Arizona, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
"We're very pleased the toolkit is now available to colleagues in transportation departments around the nation,’’ said Jeff Doyle, Director of Public/Private Partnerships for Washington State Department of Transportation. “We focused on making this tool relevant and useful to all states, not just those already involved in supporting electric vehicles."
For more information on the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Action Tool: http://www.c2es.org/pev-action-tool
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
As early as this week, the federal government will announce what is likely the largest move ever to save oil. If last year’s proposal becomes final, as expected, the fuel economy of a typical new car will go up by more than 70 percent by 2025. The standards will improve how far cars and trucks travel on a gallon of gas even more than the original corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards, enacted by Congress in 1975.
The new passenger vehicle standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions are also the single largest move by the federal government to address climate change. Three critical factors made this possible: consumer commitment, technological progress, and smart public policy.
June 25, 2012
Contact: Rebecca Matulka, 703-516-0621, email@example.com
State Transportation Officials Meet in Raleigh to Pave Way for Plug-in Electric Vehicles
Transportation officials from eight states are meeting today and tomorrow in Raleigh to develop state-level strategies for accelerating the deployment of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).
The two-day workshop is being co-organized by the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) as part of a broader effort with industry, environmentalists, and policymakers to advance PEVs nationwide. The workshop is being hosted by the city of Raleigh at the Raleigh Convention Center. Speakers include North Carolina Transportation Secretary Gene Conti and Raleigh Mayor Pro Tem Russ Stephenson.
Officials from Arizona, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin and from the U.S. Department of Transportation will examine how state transportations departments can help ensure the smooth introduction of the new infrastructure needed for charging electric vehicles. Other participants include representatives of Raleigh and other cities taking the lead on introducing PEVs.
“PEVs are a transformative technology—they offer us a way reduce both our reliance on imported oil and our carbon footprint,” said Judi Greenwald, C2ES’s vice president for technology and innovation. “But to realize this potential, a broad range of stakeholders and policymakers will need to work together. We’re very pleased to be working with these states and others to help make sure that happens.”
"Our goal for this project is to not only help DOTs define their role with respect to electric vehicles, but to create a community of practice so that we can learn from each other and share resources as this rapidly evolving technology comes into the market," said Jeff Doyle, director of public/private partnerships at the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The Raleigh workshop will lead to a new “self-assessment” tool to help state transportation planners understand PEV needs in their states and develop cost-effective strategies to meet them. It follows a similar workshop in March at the University of California, Berkeley.
The workshop is part of a broader C2ES initiative implementing the recommendations of its PEV Dialogue Group, which includes automakers, electric utilities, policy makers, environmental groups and others. In March, the group released An Action Plan to Integrate Plug-in Electric Vehicles with the U.S. Electrical Grid, which outlines steps to safeguard grid reliability while ensuring that PEV owners can plug in at home and on the road. Washington State and Raleigh both participate in the PEV Dialogue Group.
C2ES is also working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program to help communities across the country assess PEV-related needs such as revising codes and updating permitting processes to smooth the installation of residential and commercial charging stations.
Some PEVs such as the Nissan Leaf run exclusively on rechargeable batteries; others such as the GM Volt couple batteries with gasoline engines that extend their range to that of a conventional vehicle. More than 30,000 PEVs have been sold in the United States since January 2011. Nearly 10 companies now have PEVs on the road, and over the next year or two, all of the major automakers plan to offer them.
More information on this project and the PEV Dialogue Group Initiative is available at www.c2es.org/initiatives/pev.
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, long recognized in the United States and abroad as an influential and pragmatic voice on climate issues. C2ES is led by Eileen Claussen, who previously led the Pew Center and is the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
A Senate Transportation Committee hearing tomorrow will be the latest show of ire against the European Union’s effort to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation through its mandatory Emission Trading System (EU ETS). From Beijing to Delhi to Washington, governments claim the EU’s unilateral move violates international aviation law.
Indeed, in Washington, this is one of the rare issues these days where Democrats and Republicans find themselves on the same side opposing the EU’s action. The Obama Administration has weighed in with a strongly worded letter from Secretaries Clinton and LaHood urging the EU to drop its unilateral efforts and to work through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to reduce aviation sector emissions.
But if tomorrow’s hearing before the Senate Transportation Committee is simply another round of EU-bashing, it will be a missed opportunity to focus on the one solution that virtually everybody (including the EU) appears to support—effective action by ICAO. Frustrated by years of inaction within ICAO, the real motivation behind the EU’s move may be to reignite efforts to reach agreement within ICAO.
Released in March 2012, An Action Plan to Integrate Plug-in Electric Vehicles with the U.S. Electrical Grid, created by the PEV Dialogue Group, lays out the steps necessary to integrate PEVs with the electrical grid nationwide. The Action Plan is the first phase of a larger initiative by C2ES aimed at enabling PEV adoption nationwide.
The Action Plan takes a broad look at the challenges related to PEV-grid integration such as a consistent regulatory framework and consumer education. It suggests roles for businesses, electric utilities, government, and NGOs in PEV deployment, and it identifies needed actions for a compatible regulatory framework, public and private investment, PEV rollout, and consumer education. The next phase of this initiative constitutes the implementation of the Action Plan. In many cases, we have already executed specific activities (see below) prescribed in the Plan. In other cases, we are filling in gaps in addressing challenges related to PEV deployment that went beyond the scope of the initial effort. The following focus areas embody both types of follow-on actions:
- Connect PEV Leaders around the Country: Convene PEV leaders to foster state-level action, specific to the needs of transportation agencies and PUCs, through peer exchanges and educational workshops. Be the connective tissue for disparate efforts nationwide to encourage the sharing and development of best practices, and to ensure that actions taken at state and local levels are compatible with each other.
- Advise Individual PEV Efforts: Provide strategic advice to state and local PEV planning efforts. Focus on regulatory issues, optimizing public and private investments, and facilitating rollout.
- Driver Behavior Analysis: Conduct research on PEV driver behavior as it relates to vehicle charging infrastructure needs, grid reliability, transportation system financing, and maximizing electric miles traveled.
- Consumer Education Strategy: Create and promote a web platform to educate consumers on the PEV value proposition and PEV technology.
In this implementation phase, C2ES has been working with the PEV Dialogue Group to implement the Action Plan. C2ES has led and will lead efforts to advocate for implementation of the Action Plan with businesses, stakeholders, and officials at the local, state, and federal levels. The emphasis has been on solutions to key challenges including harmonizing a regulatory framework nationwide, overcoming the consumer information gap, and optimizing public and private investments.
- February 18, 2014: C2ES publishes report, A Guide to the Lessons Learned from the Clean Cities Community Electric Vehicle Readiness Projects
- February 12, 2014: C2ES publishes 4 interactive maps on implementing the PEV Action Plan
- July 10, 2013: C2ES publishes interactive map on California's Zero Emission Vehicle Program
- May 15, 2013: C2ES publishes interactive map on personal travel and PEVs
- January 10, 2013: C2ES publishes PEV Action Tool for state departments of transportation
- December 4, 2012: C2ES and IEDC host workshop on PEVs and economic development
- November 11-14, 2012: NARUC passes key resolution to support PEV deployment
- October 29, 2012: PEV Dialogue Group issues public comments on U.S. DOE's EV Everywhere program
- September 26, 2012: C2ES releases report on PEV deployment in the Northeast for the Transportation and Climate Initiative
- July 10-11, 2012: C2ES helps the National Governor Associations put on an PEV workshop in Washington, DC
- June 25-26, 2012: C2ES runs workshop with state transportation departments on charging infrastructure in Raleigh, North Carolina
- June 20, 2012: C2ES hosts second of two webinars on the PEV Action Plan for U.S. DOE Clean Cities Coalitions
- May 7, 2012: C2ES runs workshop for U.S. DOE's Clean Cities Program on challenges and best practices related to PEV deployment at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles, California
- April 17, 2012: C2ES and the Rocky Mountain Institute host the first of two webinars on the PEV Action Plan for U.S. DOE Clean Cities Coalitions
- March 28-29, 2012: C2ES runs workshop with state transportation departments on public policy and vehicle fleets in Berkeley, California
Current and Past Projects
While Americans bought nearly 18,000 PEVs last year, 2012 is the first full year when plug-in electric vehicles will be available nationwide. The long-term success of PEVs could bring some very real benefits to energy security, air quality, climate change, and economic growth.
Ridesharing: Context, Trends, and Opportunities
by Cynthia J. Burbank and Nick Nigro