American gas-fueled vehicles jeopardize Biden’s climate goals

Detroit (AP) — President Joe Biden’s Ambitious Goal to Cut US Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Half by 2030 Is Other Than One of the Worst Causes of Automobile Tailpipes Significant savings need to be made from the location of.

According to experts, there are too many petrol cars in the United States (about 279 million) to replace them within 10 years. In a typical year, automakers sell about 17 million cars nationwide. Even if all the new ones are electric, it will take more than 16 years to replace the entire fleet.

In addition, vehicles currently remain on American roads for an average of nearly 12 years before being scrapped. In short, gas-fueled vehicles will be mainstream for years to come.

Aakash Arora, Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group and author of research on the adoption of electric vehicles, said: “

Therefore, unless government incentives somehow convince the majority of Americans to abandon cars and trucks and buy electric cars, reducing tailpipe emissions by nearly 50% is more than Biden’s schedule. Will also take much longer. Last year, less than 2% of new cars sold in the United States were completely electric.

“If all new cars on the market today are electric vehicles and are powered entirely by renewables overnight, it will take more than a decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.” Chris Atkinson, a professor of machinery, said. Director of Engineering and Smart Mobility at Ohio State University.

This means that other sectors of the economy must reduce greenhouse gas emissions deep enough to make up for the shortfall in the automotive industry.

The entire transport, including ships and planes, as well as cars and trucks, is the number one cause of such pollution. Of the approximately 6.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted in the United States in 2019, transportation generated 29%. Next was 25% power generation. Next were factories at 23%, commercial and residential buildings at 13%, and agriculture at 10%.

Power generation is the most likely source of faster reductions. The sector has already made great strides. According to the government’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, carbon emissions from power generation last year were 52% lower than the government predicted in 2005. Reason: Increased use of natural gas, solar and wind power, and reduced demand as the economy developed to achieve improved energy efficiency.

Biden, Who announced his goals at the Climate Summit with World Leaders on ThursdayHas not yet elaborated on the greenhouse gas reductions his administration envisions for each sector of the economy. Overall, reductions limit global warming as part of the country’s president’s vision to produce state-of-the-art batteries and electric vehicles, more efficient power grids, and cap abandoned oil rigs and mines. Is aimed at.

Biden’s top climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, seemed to suggest on Thursday that emissions from sectors other than the automotive industry need to be significantly reduced to reach the target. She upheld the government’s decision not to set a specific deadline to end the sale of new petrol vehicles or to achieve net zero emissions from the transportation sector.

“We have many ways” to cut US greenhouse gas emissions in half without transportation targets, McCarthy said.

For the transport sector, the government says it will improve vehicle efficiency, invest in low-carbon renewable fuels, and generate improvements in transportation, rail and bicycles. The government also wants to convert 650,000 federal vehicles to battery power.

To boost electric vehicle sales, the government will spend $ 15 billion to build 500,000 charging stations by 2030 and offer unspecified tax credits and rebates to reduce costs. ..

Replacing all gas burner vehicles with electric vehicles can take more than 20 years. Todd Campau, Associate Director of Automotive at IHS Markit, predicts that the number of predominantly petrol vehicles on US roads will increase to 284 million by 2025.

“The situation is only getting worse to the amount that needs to be replaced,” Kampau said.

He and others say they need very attractive government incentives to seduce additional people from gas burners. Large scale. The Schumer project offers people a rebate of at least $ 3,000 to dispose of electric combustion vehicles.

Bill Hare, director of Climate Analytics, a Berlin-based climate think tank, predicted that pollution reductions in the transportation sector would be after 2030 as the fleet of electric vehicles grows.

“Then we’ll see almost complete decarbonization of the transport sector, but by 2050,” he said.

Even if tailpipe emissions cannot be reduced quickly, by significantly reducing power plant emissions, reducing methane pollution from oil wells, and reducing hydrofluorocarbons used in refrigeration and air conditioning, weiden When the goal can be achieved, the research company Rhodium Group. Studies show that the combination of investment and regulation can reduce electricity emissions by 80% by 2030.

“It will bring us most of the way,” she said. “We don’t see an overall 50% reduction.”

She said zero-emission power generation sets the stage for converting automobiles and many other sources of pollution into electricity.

According to a Boston Consulting report, even countries with more advanced electric vehicle adoption than the United States, mainly Europe and China, cannot use enough electric vehicles for sale to meet their 2030 carbon dioxide reduction targets. It is estimated. In Europe, with strong incentives and strict pollution restrictions, the market share of battery-only and plug-in hybrids surged from 3% last year to 10.5%. That’s not enough.

“If half of the new cars sold worldwide in 2035 are zero-emission vehicles, 70% of the cars on the road are still burning gasoline or diesel,” the report said.

Due to the lack of factory capacity to manufacture batteries, speeding up recruitment may also be limited. For example, in the United States, there are only four plants under construction or under construction. According to OSU Atkinson, 50 is needed to electrify the entire fleet.

Still, the switch from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles is on track, and Boston Consulting says it will accelerate. The company predicts that sales of new plug-in hybrid and battery-powered electric vehicles will rise from 12% of the global market in 2020 to 47% in 2025. Battery costs are declining, and automakers plan to introduce 300 new EV models and offer them to consumers by 2023. A huge array of choices.

Nathan Nice, author of the Boston Consulting Report, said: “Business is moving in that direction. Governments can be accelerators on top of that.”


AP science writer Seth Borenstein contributed this report from Washington.

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