Electric vehicles could come to dominate the transportation market sooner than expectedFebruary 6, 2017
Clean vehicles are gaining ground very quickly
Electric vehicles may take over the transportation space sooner than expected. In the United States, transportation has traditionally accounted for the majority of emissions produced within the country, surpassing the energy sector despite the country’s massive consumption of electrical power. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), however, this is no longer the case. The EIA has reported that in 2016, the energy sector surpassed transportation in terms of emissions production, highlighting the rising impact of clean vehicles in the sector.
Transportation emissions are plummeting due to electric vehicles
The EIA notes that the emissions produced within the transportation sector have been outpaced by energy sector emissions for the first time since the 1970s. This is partly due to the rising demand for electric vehicles, which generate no emissions. Some predict that this demand will aggressively accelerate the position of electric vehicles in the transportation market, but Dan Cohan of Rice University suggests that forecasts are quite varied. The EIA is quite optimistic of the future of electric vehicles, but companies like British Petroleum expect that these vehicles will only account for 6% of the global transportation market by 2035.
Renewable energy and clean transportation go well together
One reason electric vehicles may establish dominance in transportation in the near future has to do with the growing prominence of renewable energy. A new study from the Grantham Institute predicts that clean transportation and solar energy could hasten the demise of the fossil-fuels sector. The study notes that the falling costs of both electric vehicles and solar technology may end up halting the demand for oil and coal as early as 2020. As such, clean vehicles could quickly begin to replace their conventional counterparts thereafter.
Fuel cell vehicles are beginning to break into the transportation market
Battery electrics remain one of the more popular types of electric cars on the market currently, but they are beginning to see competition from cars equipped with hydrogen fuel cells. Most major automakers already offer battery electrics, but many are beginning to work on bringing fuel cell vehicles to the market. These vehicles also run on electricity, but consume hydrogen to do so.