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 Ó 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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