November 10, 2022
The Role of Electric Vehicles in Reaching Carbon Reduction Goals
By Meghan Weinman, Managing Director, Transportation Electrification; and Ali Walling, Manager, Transportation Electrification
Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., accounting for 29% of the nationwide emissions total. For many corporations, reducing carbon emissions from transportation becomes an important tool for decarbonization. In the below blog, Meghan Weinman, Managing Director, Transportation Electrification, and Ali (Clunk) Walling, Manager, Transportation Electrification, explore how transportation fits into corporate sustainability and carbon reduction goals.
Explore more perspectives in our Transportation Electrification Series, which covers topics around electric vehicles, charging solutions, fleet conversion, and more.
What is driving the conversion to electric vehicles?
Over the last decade, the electric vehicle (EV) market has made substantial strides. Since the introduction of the first mass-market EV in 2010, the United States EV market has grown substantially, reaching a cumulative 1.7 million vehicles sold through the end of 2020. This trend will only continue to accelerate as there are now EVs available across every type of vehicle class.
Automakers are increasingly focused on and investing in the electrification of cars, buses, trucks, and other medium-duty (MD) and heavy-duty (HD) vehicles. EV adoption is poised for rapid acceleration due to a confluence of several factors:
- Improving technology and falling costs
- Favorable policies and financial incentives
- Rising consumer and commercial interest
- Growing desire to reduce environmental impacts and fuel costs
Automaker Commitment & Improving Technology
Automakers continue to see a transportation future that is electric and have committed over $460B globally towards adding EVs to their product lines. This commitment adds to market confidence and will continue to grow the demand for EVs.
Passenger EVs (e.g. Nissan Leaf, Tesla) have been commercially available for over 10 years, and with EV battery costs continuing to drop and battery range improving significantly, larger vehicles are electrifying. Electric buses are widely available along with delivery trucks and long-haul freight vehicles, making the conversion from internal combustion engines (ICE) to EV fleets a real possibility for many organizations.
Worldwide, BNEF forecasts that 58% of light-duty vehicle and 31% of commercial fleet sales will be electric by 2040, approximately 56 million EVs globally.
Policy & Legislation
There has been an increase in supportive policy and legislation in the United States, which increases the transition to EVs. Many states like California are leading the way on clean transportation, which includes policies, legislation, and incentives to support the conversion to electric. Many electricity utilities also offer incentives and programs that can offset charging infrastructure costs. The latest infrastructure proposal from the Biden administration has $174B dedicated towards EVs and the Department of Energy recently announced $162M for EV technologies and adoption acceleration
How does transportation fit into corporate sustainability?
Transportation is the largest source of GHG emissions in the U.S., accounting for 29% of the nationwide emissions total. For many corporations, reducing carbon emissions from transportation becomes an important tool towards decarbonization. Fully electric vehicles do not have tailpipe emissions, and the electricity that fuels them can be significantly less carbon-intensive than gasoline or diesel.
In addition to having environmental benefits, electric vehicles cost much less to operate. Converting vehicles powered by an internal combustion engine to an electric fleet can reduced operating expenses with lower fueling and maintenance costs. The initial capital cost can also be offset with vehicle rebates, grants, other incentives – which builds a positive case for electrification.
While EV carbon emissions depend on the energy generation used to charge, driving an EV on average in the United States is equivalent to a conventional car that gets 80 MPG.
There is no one size fits all approach to net-zero emissions in transportation. Edison Energy’s flexible approach supports clients’ specific needs and transportation considerations while being part of a holistic decarbonization strategy. With the right plans, fleets that electrify significantly reduce carbon, meet day-to-day operational needs, and enjoy significant cost savings.
In our upcoming blog series, we’ll dive into more topic areas that explore specific areas around Transportation Electrification. Continue to watch this space!
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