Emissions from passenger and light commercial road vehicles make up 10 per cent of Australia’s total CO2emissions, so reducing these emissions can make a significant contribution to reducing Australia’s CO2 emissions.
The purpose of switching from fossil fuels (petrol/diesel/LPG) to low-emission alternative fuels is to reduce/mitigate climate change by reducing total CO2 emissions.
If an alternative fuel/powertrain can be deployed which has a lower cost per km than fossil fuels, is fit-for-purpose, and has no significant disadvantages (e.g. power, torque, safety), then the market will probably naturally and speedily gravitate to the new fuel/drivetrain.
Thus, any viable market-changing solution must reduce costs, not just emissions.
If the alternative fuel is produced using renewable energy, then transport operational emissions can be eliminated.
If the fuel is produced using dirty energy sources which produce CO2emissions during production, then the CO2– emissions / climate change mitigation objective has not been achieved; all that has happened is that emissions have been moved somewhere else, i.e. from tailpipe to the sources of the fuel.
Read the full story on RenewEconomy’s electric vehicle-dedicated site, The Driven…
Bede Doherty is an independent consultant in climate change mitigation, specialising in transport including fuels/powertrains, fuelling infrastructure and emissions.