Econonomics of Energy and Environmental Policy

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Global Electrification of Light-duty Vehicles: Impacts of Economics and Climate Policy

Open Access Article

We explore potential impacts of global decarbonization on trends in light-duty vehicle (LDV) fleets from 2020-2050. Using an economy-wide multi-region multi-sector model, we project that the global EV fleet will grow from 5 million vehicles in 2018 to about 95–105 million EVs by 2030, and 585–823 million EVs by 2050. At this level of market penetration, EVs would constitute one-third to one-half of the overall LDV fleet by 2050 in different scenarios. China, USA, and Europe remain the largest markets in our study timeframe, but EVs are projected to grow in all regions reducing oil use and emissions. EVs play a role in reducing oil use, but a more substantial reduction in oil consumption comes from economy-wide carbon pricing. Absent more aggressive efforts to reduce carbon emissions, global oil consumption is not radically reduced in the next several decades because of increased demand from other sectors, such as for heavy-duty transport and non-fuel uses. Overall, we find that EVs, along with more efficient ICEVs, represent a viable opportunity among a set of options for reducing global carbon emissions at a manageable cost.
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Keywords: Light-duty vehicles, electric cars, climate policy, oil use, carbon dioxide emissions

DOI: 10.5547/2160-5890.11.1.spal

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Published in Volume 11, Number 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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