Interaction of consumer preferences and climate policies in the global transition to low-carbon vehicles

David L. McCollum*, Charlie Wilson, Michela Bevione, Samuel Carrara, Oreane Y. Edelenbosch, Johannes Emmerling, Céline Guivarch, Panagiotis Karkatsoulis, Ilkka Keppo, Volker Krey, Zhenhong Lin, Eoin Broin, Leonidas Paroussos, Hazel Pettifor, Kalai Ramea, Keywan Riahi, Fuminori Sano, Baltazar Solano Rodriguez, Detlef P. van Vuuren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Burgeoning demands for mobility and private vehicle ownership undermine global efforts to reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. Advanced vehicles powered by low-carbon sources of electricity or hydrogen offer an alternative to conventional fossil-fuelled technologies. Yet, despite ambitious pledges and investments by governments and automakers, it is by no means clear that these vehicles will ultimately reach mass-market consumers. Here, we develop state-of-the-art representations of consumer preferences in multiple global energy-economy models, specifically focusing on the non-financial preferences of individuals. We employ these enhanced model formulations to analyse the potential for a low-carbon vehicle revolution up to 2050. Our analysis shows that a diverse set of measures targeting vehicle buyers is necessary to drive widespread adoption of clean technologies. Carbon pricing alone is insufficient to bring low-carbon vehicles to the mass market, though it may have a supporting role in ensuring a decarbonized energy supply.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-673
Number of pages10
JournalNature Energy
Volume3
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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    McCollum, D. L., Wilson, C., Bevione, M., Carrara, S., Edelenbosch, O. Y., Emmerling, J., ... van Vuuren, D. P. (2018). Interaction of consumer preferences and climate policies in the global transition to low-carbon vehicles. Nature Energy, 3(8), 664-673. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-018-0195-z