#69. The Rapid Acceleration of the Pace of Electrification
#69. The Rapid Acceleration of the Pace of Electrification The pace of vehicle electrification in the U.S. has rapidly accelerated in the past few years and while great strides have been made, plenty of barriers and challenges still exist. With support from the Biden Administration and funding for the expansion of EV charging under the recently enacted infrastructure legislation our guest, Britta Gross says, “We’re really starting to see real alignment!” With Special Guest: Britta Gross, former Managing Director for the Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) Global Carbon-free Mobility Program and Commissioner for the Orlando Utility Commission “You’re seeing investments in charging infrastructure. This is important to everyone because it’s about global competition. It’s about high tech industries. It’s about higher paying jobs and again, what it all represents to the economy and the wins that go along with it are just zero tailpipe emissions. You mentioned the local air quality, and really you start to get into issues like equity. When we start talking about just eliminating these tailpipe emissions, this is really an equity issue, because folks that live in low income communities are often right there next to highways, right there next to warehouses where the trucks are coming in and out day after day after day. So win, win, win all over this, really a no-brainer to electrify transportation.” Britta Gross is a former managing director of RMI’s Carbon Free Mobility Global Program. This practice is focused on the market-driven strategies, technologies, and policies required to accelerate towards carbon-free mobility solutions. Ms. Gross was formerly the director of advanced vehicle commercialization at General Motors, responsible for the energy strategies, partnerships, and policies required to enable the wide-scale commercialization of battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. Britta is also currently a commissioner for the Orlando Utility Commission, Orlando, Florida’s electric and water utility. Before transitioning into the automotive industry, Britta began her career with Hughes Space & Communications in Los Angeles, leading mission design and systems engineering teams developing communication and weather satellite programs. Download Transcript The post #69. The Rapid Acceleration of the Pace of Electrification appeared first on Transport Energy Strategies.
20 Jun 2022
#68. Moving Faster With Hydrogen
#68. Moving Faster With Hydrogen (37m) The hydrogen fuels market is growing globally and is becoming a viable alternative to diesel for fleet vehicles. In this episode we talk with Parker Meeks, Chief Strategy Officer for Hyzon Motors about the state of the hydrogen fuels market, waste-based hydrogen sourcing, the U.S. regulatory landscape and all the benefits of this fuel that is rapidly growing in popularity around the world. With special guest: Parker Meeks, Chief Strategy Officer, Hyzon Motors Parker joined Hyzon Motors as Chief Strategy Officer in June 2021. His experience spans traditional energy, decarbonization / energy transition, infrastructure and transportation, serving clients and leading operations across 4 continents, 15+ countries and 25+ US states. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, an MBA from Rice University, and serves on the Advisory Board for Rice University’s Chemical Engineering department. “Our entire team Hyzon is really passion-led. When you’re a company that’s building something in this way, you’ve got to be led by passion. We’re all excited to do our part to help move fuel and move mobility forward.” Download Transcript The post #68. Moving Faster With Hydrogen appeared first on Transport Energy Strategies.
6 Jun 2022
#67. Cory Bullis of FLO: We’re Closing the Gaps to Scale Up EV Charging
For this podcast, I spoke with Cory Bullis, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for FLO. FLO is one of the leading EV charging providers in North America. We spoke about both challenges and opportunities in the EV charging space, what new funding under the infrastructure legislation means for charging and how FLO sees it scaling up, policies needed to help expand charging as well as EV scale up in North America in general. Cory and I serve on the Fuels Institute’s Electric Vehicle Council. Following are a couple of excerpts from our discussion, which you can view or download below, or listen to in ITunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or TuneIn. On FLO and Its Offering: “Just to kind of give you a quick sense of who we are as a company, we’ve been around for over 10 years and we do all different types of charging deployments. We offer residential, public commercial charging, we do DC fast chargers, we do Level 2. We pretty much run the full gamut of options when it comes to deploying charging solutions. We also do fleet electrification, for instance. One of the unique things about us is we actually manufacture both our hardware and our software. So that gives us full control over the solution we are providing to customers. And I think they ultimately like that, because they’re working then with one vendor to customize and serve their hardware and software needs when it comes to a charging solution. So that’s kind of the base foundation of us as a company. But then some additional areas that we really focus on that I think separates us is Canada is our home country. We’re headquartered in Quebec City. And Canada has a population of 40 million people, which is equivalent to just the state of California. We have tons of rural areas in Canada, we’ve spent a lot of time deploying rural charging solutions. And we have a lot of lessons learned from how you do that. I think we’re coming to find as we’re in the American context, rural charging is not as advanced or as far along compared to our experience in the U.S. Some additional areas that we really focus on that I think separates us is Canada is our home country. We’re headquartered in Quebec City. And Canada has a population of 40 million people, which is equivalent to just the state of California. We have tons of rural areas in Canada, and we’ve spent a lot of time deploying rural charging solutions. We have a lot of lessons learned from how you do that. I think we’re coming to find as we’re in the American context, rural charging is not as advanced or as far along compared to our experience in the U.S. Another area that we like to focus on a lot is curbside charging. A unique but important technology application is putting chargers in the right-of-way in cities so that they can serve folks who live at multi-unit dwellings, or just general dense downtown cores that lack a lot of open space. We find that the right-of-way, putting chargers curbside is a really important solution for drivers to have access to adequate charging.” On the Acute Gaps in EV Charging Currently: “Some of the more acute gaps that I think we’re wrestling with, and I think this can be said broadly about the U.S., and I think it is still applicable to a certain degree in Canada, is that curbside charging continues to be a really, really important solution and a gap right now that’s not being addressed. Fortunately, there have been some awesome deployments in the U.S. that we have done with various cities. We have 200 curbside streetlight mountain chargers with the city of Los Angeles, which has been one of our early projects in the U.S. We also have 120 curbside chargers in the city of New York. I think New York City has also set a goal now to deploy 1,000 curbside chargers, which for us is monumental to even get that kind of North Star called out in a city planning document. We certainly want to see more of it, because that kind of sets the tone and the pace, and then it helps kind of ease or create more partnerships than with companies like us to address those gaps. The other gap, like I said, is rural charging. This is especially acute when it comes to the U.S. and even what we’re seeing in California. Its rural communities, and then on top of that, low-income communities, disadvantaged communities — these are all areas that have major charging deserts, that we as the collective stakeholder community, whether you’re a utility or charging company, are still working on. It’s still a work in progress to really build out the adequate infrastructure.” The post #67. Cory Bullis of FLO: We’re Closing the Gaps to Scale Up EV Charging appeared first on Transport Energy Strategies.
15 Dec 2021
#66. Alba Soler, Dr. Calliope Panoutsou and Dr. Kyriakos Maniatis on “Sustainable Biomass Availability in the EU to 2050”
For this video podcast, I spoke with Alba Soler Estrella, Science Associate Low-Carbon Pathways, at Concawe, the European refining industry’s scientific and technical body, Dr. Calliope Panoutsou of the Imperial College London Consultants and Dr. Kyriakos Maniatis, recently retired from the European Commission, DG Energy about “Sustainable Biomass Availability in the EU to 2050.” The study, commissioned by Concawe, showed that the total EU potential sustainable biomass availability (agriculture, forestry and biowastes) is more than sufficient to supply feedstock for all bio-based markets, (bio-materials and bioenergy sectors), including bio-liquid fuels to aviation, maritime and a share of road transport. Following are a couple of excerpts from our discussion, which you can view or download below, or listen to in ITunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or TuneIn. Alba on Questions the Importance of the Study: “The main question we always received from the Commission and all other stakeholders debating on the decarbonization of transport when we would talk about biofuels as being important to achieving decarbonization in the transport sector would be ‘Do you think there will be enough sustainable biomass to produce that big amount of biofuels?’ Because take into account that it’s not only the transport sector who will use biomass to decarbonize. There are many other sectors, such as the bio-materials, power or industrial sector, that they are also looking into biomass to decarbonize. And we need the biomass to be sustainable and to not impact the biodiversity. So the question would always be, ‘Do you think that this is feasible?’ Some months ago, we could only rely on external studies and we were not really able to answer this. That’s why we started the study with Imperial College of London, and now we have a clear answer.” Calliope on the Biomass Feedstock Potential in the EU: “I was positively surprised to find out that even with the very conservative assumptions that we have in the low scenario there is enough biomass. For forest biomass, for example, current use for energy in Europe is approximately 45%. We restricted it to 25% for the future. From the sustainable potential of marginal unused abandoned land, we used only 25%. Still, the amount of biomass on the ground was sufficient to meet the targets set by the automotive industry. Moreover, we have to make clear that the study didn’t account for all biomass feedstocks types included in REDII Annex IX, Part A and B, as there were no statistical time series available. So we didn’t even use the list of all allowable feedstocks. Even with the limited number of feedstocks, and with these restricted assumptions, we measured and modeled that the potential is there.” Kyriakos on the Misunderstanding for Policymakers about When Technologies Can Come to Market: “What surprised me is when I would look at the technologies and how long it takes for these to reach the market. I realized it basically takes approximately between eight to 15 years before a technology that started in the lab can be deployed in the market. And this, it’s something very practical. The problem is that the policymakers and the politicians don’t understand this. So if they put in the legislation that we’re going to have so much percent of, let’s say, e-fuels by 2030, they don’t realize that probably it’s not going to be there on time. Now, of course there’s a lot of progress that has been achieved in all the technologies. But it’s not so easy because you put legislation that technology is going to follow the legislation. It needs time, it needs investment and it needs a lot of efforts from the technology developers and several stakeholders of the community. So there’s a gap of understanding for policymakers about when a technology can be deployed in the market. That was, for me, a surprise to see based on the experiences from four technology developers’. You see that it takes them eight to 15 years to build the technology from the concept in the lab out to the market.” The post #66. Alba Soler, Dr. Calliope Panoutsou and Dr. Kyriakos Maniatis on “Sustainable Biomass Availability in the EU to 2050” appeared first on Transport Energy Strategies.
25 Oct 2021
Most Popular Podcasts
#65. Bruce Comer and Eric van den Heuvel on What’s the Future for HVO??
This video podcast is a follow up to the recent web conference on the future of HVO, featuring speakers Bruce Comer, Managing Director of Ocean Park, Eric van den Heuvel, Founder and Partner of Studio Gear Up for their insights, and my co-host Philippe Marchand, Bioenergy Steering Committee Member, European Technology and Innovation Platform (ETIP) and Senior Biofuels Expert recently retired from TOTAL. Following are a couple of excerpts from our discussion, which you can view or download below, or listen to in ITunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or TuneIn. Bruce on Potential Cross-Border Distributions of Feedstocks and Fuels in the U.S.: “There are issues that could end up in inefficient, sub-optimal, cross border distributions of feedstocks or fuels. Let’s take the U.S.. California and the other states are erecting their own individual policies. Right now, 95 to 99% of all renewable diesel in the United States has to go to California because California is paying to have it driven there. California then imports from Singapore, so their policy is very advanced, very much on the vanguard in terms of willingness to pay and reward the lower CI score, but you’re now starting to realign global resources to feed this policy. What I think we might see, and now you’re starting to see in Washington state and Oregon and Western Canada, is it’ll become a bidding war for these fuels. It doesn’t take a logistics expert that you’re now starting to burn resources, to allocate two pockets of policies that are not aligned. And to some extent, I think some of these models, or the CI scores, when they’re driven by a small team within CARB in California, they’re open to lobbying, advocacy, arguments about model assumptions. So I think you’ve hit on something.” Eric on Why the Liquid Fuels Sector Needs a Strategy for Renewable Fuels in the EU: “If you have a look at the current policy developments, you see that for a mainly for road transport, there’s a high expectation on the success of electric mobility. There is a regulation in place to bring them in, especially the CO2 performance standards for light-duty and medium-duty vehicles. There are also CO2 standards for heavy duties in place, which means that in the near future, they expect, or perhaps also push or force these vehicles to be zero emission-based vehicles. The reason why this is, is because they don’t see any movement yet of the liquid fuel sector to actually accommodate a shift to renewables. In this question, it is risky indeed, to have such a strategy, especially when you’re a strategy on electric mobility or zero emission would fail or go much slower than many anticipate. But the only thing that, let’s say, this sector can bring to the policymakers is, well, if they want to convince them that, ‘Well, you have to come up with a sound sustainable feedstock mobilization strategy to overcome this,’ and actually say, ‘Well, we can also expand beyond this and Annex 9a list in mobilization in a European setting with sustainability safeguards, stuff like that.’ So the sector has to work on such a strategy, otherwise policymakers will create their own success on the zero emission strategy. It is risky from the policymakers, but I think perhaps tries to push the sector to come up with a sound strategy to deliver on the noble liquid fuels.” The post #65. Bruce Comer and Eric van den Heuvel on What’s the Future for HVO?? appeared first on Transport Energy Strategies.
5 Jul 2021
#64. Felix Leach and Kelly Senecal on Racing Toward Zero: The Untold Story of Driving Green
For this video podcast, I spoke with Dr. Felix Leach, Associate Professor of Engineering Science at Oxford University and Dr. Peter Kelly Senecal, Co-Owner and Vice President, Convergent Science on their just-released book, Racing Toward Zero: The Untold Story of Driving Green. Following are a couple of excerpts from our discussion, which you can view or download below, or listen to in ITunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or TuneIn. Kelly on the Role of Battery Electric Vehicles: “Certainly Felix and I, we talk about this in the book, we are advocates of battery electric vehicles. We think they definitely hold a firm place in the future transportation solution, and there’s definitely a time and a place for them. But we don’t feel, at least in the near term, maybe to medium term, that they are the silver bullet solution. If we’re really going to decarbonize quickly, which I think is in all of our best interests, we have to take a look at this mix of technologies, and that’s really one of the core themes of the book.” Felix on the Range of Light-Duty Transportation Options Available: “It just seems that there’s now so many options, particularly for light-duty transportation, that there weren’t even two or three years ago. I felt that, given this kind of choice that was available, people seemed to be picking one technology or their favorite technology or maybe the one they’re invested in or whatever and saying that this is the best solution. I think it’s a bit more nuanced than that and that the best solution maybe depends on the application, where you are in the world, and so we try and bring together what’s a hugely diverse topic to try and discuss the pros and cons of every solution because no solution is a silver bullet. No solution has the perfect outcomes for everyone.” Kelly on the Need to Get Past the Silver Bullet Idea in Transportation Energy: “Driving a hybrid, a full hybrid vehicle in the U.S. in most of the states, is better from a CO2 stand point than a BEV. Now, certainly there are states in the U.S. where a BEV is cleaner. We’re not advocating for ‘We should be banning everything but hybrids.’ Again, it feeds into this eclectic mix, this diversity approach where for different regions different solutions make more sense. If I’m a consumer and I live in Wisconsin, and I do and I am, what choice can I make to help the environment with my next car? It’s going to be buying a hybrid to be perfectly honest. If I live in Washington state? Probably a BEV, so it just depends on where you live. The idea of getting past this silver bullet idea and embracing, ‘Look, we need to keep improving all of these things.’ We don’t have to pick one or the other. We should be improving all of them, and if there is a batterygate at some point in the future, what we don’t want to do is look back and say, ‘Hmm… That ICE technology. We froze that back in 2021. We should have kept improving that because now we could have something even more efficient and cleaner that we could fall back on.’ We run the risk of not doing that, so it’s very important to kind of take this eclectic approach and push all the technologies forward.” Felix on How “Pollution” Is Not A Helpful Word: “I think people are learning, speaking from a British or maybe European perspective. Dieselgate had a profound influence. Over here in Europe there’s a very, very high penetration of diesel vehicles and that fell off rapidly. People said, ‘If we get rid of the diesels, we get rid of the pollution.’ I sort of coined this phrase, which I talk about quite a bit in the book, which is ‘Pollution’s not a helpful word.’ What is pollution? Do you mean NOx? Do you mean particulate matter? Do you mean CO2? What do you mean? I was having this conversation with a local policymaker recently where we’ve had so much focus in the UK on NOx. We’ve got clean air zones and all these things focused on NOx, and they said, ‘Why aren’t our particulates coming down?’ I said, ‘Because you’ve not made any policy interventions around particulate matter.’ I mean, a lot of diesel vehicles are fitted with diesel particulate filters so their particulate emissions are very, very low. But, this relentless focus on a single pollutant, whether its CO2 or NOx or whatever. Actually, I think we are now beginning to make an impact that people have seen, certainly in Europe, that focus on NOx hasn’t actually changed the whole picture. Yes, one pollutant has come down but not everything has, so I think this lifecycle approach has people receptive to it. I think even with electric vehicles people are focusing on ‘Hang on. We know the electricity doesn’t just come from the plug. Where does it come from up stream?'” The post #64. Felix Leach and Kelly Senecal on Racing Toward Zero: The Untold Story of Driving Green appeared first on Transport Energy Strategies.
7 Jun 2021
#63. Fred Ghatala on the Canadian Clean Fuel Regulation & What It Means for Renewable Fuels
For this video podcast, I spoke with Fred Ghatala, Director of Carbon and Sustainability for Advanced Biofuels Canada. We talked about the industry’s engagement in and reaction to the recently released draft Canadian Clean Fuels Regulation (CFR). Following are a couple of excerpts from our discussion, which you can view or download below, or listen to in ITunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or TuneIn. On How the CFR Is a Key Part of the Government’s Commitment to Decarbonize Fuels: “Those of us in the sector who have been involved since day zero, we definitely applauded the milestone of draft regs being released. If the current Canadian Renewable Fuel Regulation is one of the most simple around, you could say that the CFR is making up for it in terms of all the complexity that’s involved with it. There’s lots of different aspects to it, but it’s worth recognizing that this grew out of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The government of Canada is currently led by the Liberal Party of Canada with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The major climate omnibus approach is to reach and now exceed Paris Agreement targets and now go even further than that after the Biden’s recent climate summit. Now we’re targeting 40% to 50% below 2005 emissions. The CFR is part of that with a focus on decarbonizing liquid fuels. Eighty percent of our liquid fuels are used in transportation. This is where those emissions will be captured through regulation as opposed to a carbon pricing mechanism. We have carbon pricing in place, federally implemented provincially. We just had a Supreme Court case that validated the constitutionality of it. I think anybody who really knows how it works, knows that carbon pricing alone is not sufficient. You need actual regulation that can help drive things. That’s what the CFR intends to be.” On the Need for Certainty to Drive Investment in Renewable Fuels: “I’d say at the top, what is the primary room for improvement in the reg? What’s the primary issue? It’s the clarity of the signal. It’s signal versus noise. I’ve described the CFR to folks as essentially an LCFS plus, plus, plus, plus. It really intends to include a big opportunity for upstream oil and gas emission reductions to participate in the Clean Fuel Regulation. The main thing is the signal. How are renewable fuels going to participate? Is there a strong enough signal that we can pull in investments to Canada, to produce renewable fuels here to serve this market? We’re heavily import-dependent on refined fossil fuels in Central and Western Canada. We’re import-dependent on renewable fuels especially on ethanol. Our federal RFS is 5% renewable alternatives to gasoline, ethanol, 2% renewable alternatives to diesel which is biodiesel and renewable diesel. The CFR is very different. This takes most of the liquid fuels in Canada — your gasoline, diesel, light fuel oil, heavy fuel oil and it multiplies them by their energy density, multiplies them by a grams per megajoule reduction target for that specific compliance period. The whole thing is 12 grams, but they break them out into different fuel pools and calculate a net amount of debits that need to be covered by each obligated party (they’re called the primary supplier) in the reg. That becomes their obligation, that they can meet through a number of different compliance pathways. It can be blending renewable fuels, but you can comply through using upstream oil and gas credits so CCS, enhanced oil recovery, those are all compliance pathways. We’ve got a refinery improvement credit approach that’s included in the CFR similar to California’s and there will be the ability to generate credits from that. There’s a lot of different options, EVs included. There’s a lot of opportunity for mitigation and not many different fuel pools, but knowing exactly how that will impact say renewables and diesel renewables and gasoline, it’s hard to determine.” The post #63. Fred Ghatala on the Canadian Clean Fuel Regulation & What It Means for Renewable Fuels appeared first on Transport Energy Strategies.
1 Jun 2021
#62. Larissa Perotta of Axens on the Company’s Vegan Technology for SAF/HVO
Following the successful Q&A roundtable discussion on the future of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in December 2020, I decided to do a video podcast series with several SAF producers and technology developers to get their insight into the future of SAF. For this video podcast, I spoke to Larissa Perotta, technology team manager for the biotechnology renewables group at Axens. We spoke about Axens’ Vegan technology and trends in SAF and hydrotreated vegetable oil. Following are a couple of excerpts from our discussion, which you can view or download below, or listen to in ITunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or TuneIn. On the Evolution of Vegan: “So the story of Vegan is quite curious, actually. It was the merger of two big experiences that we had in Axens. On one side, we started pioneering in the field of lipids in the 1980s with transesterification…And this technology was basically one of the milestones for Vegan, because it was the first time we put together lipids on a fixed bed catalytic reactor. That means it was the first time we started seeing what could happen and what could the surprises of putting those two together could be. We took that experience and we saw that markets were evolving toward HVO…with this need and the experience of hydrotreatment that we have from the refining industry, we decided to put them together, and this is how Vegan was born.” On the Push for Decarbonization and HVO/SAF Even in a Pandemic: “The biggest push is that decarbonization is a must today. I think it’s really interesting to see how this has been said for many years and has been discussed widely the last 10 years, but really inside the technology group of Axens, we’ve noticed that the COVID situation was also some sort of big click, because people started broadly investigating and asking about how to get green and how to get to something decarbonized very quickly. I think 2020 was a time where everybody took a step back and said, ‘Okay, something’s going on, let’s rethink the future’ and decarbonization got a very big a share of attention and gained a lot of importance. For many, SAF is a drop-in immediate solution, something that can be applied quite quickly, and I think this is the biggest push here, especially talking for the next 10 years.” On Refineries Recognizing the Market Potential of SAF and HVO: “We see many cases of refineries being converted into biorefineries, not only for these hydrotreatment pathways, which is kind of easy revamp…I would say that nearly half of the new projects that we have are concerned today with them, when we talk about Vegan. So many refineries, many units are getting adapted to be able to treat bio-based feedstock. This is definitely a trend. And it’s an easy way to, to just start doing the big step of getting fully converted.” The post #62. Larissa Perotta of Axens on the Company’s Vegan Technology for SAF/HVO appeared first on Transport Energy Strategies.
25 May 2021
#61. Brendan Jordan of Great Plains Institute on the Midwest Clean Fuels Policy
For this video podcast, I spoke to Brendan Jordan, Vice President Transportation and Fuels at the Great Plains Institute (GPI). We spoke about GPI’s work in developing the Midwest Clean Fuels Policy and how he sees low carbon fuels evolving in the Midwestern states. Following are a couple of excerpts from our discussion, which you can view or download below, or listen to in ITunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or TuneIn. On the Stakeholder Engagement Process for the Clean Fuels Policy Whitepaper: “There’s this feeling that the Midwestern states have shown a lot of leadership on clean fuel policies, and here’s an opportunity for us to step up and show some more leadership, and really design a program that’s tailored to the Midwest. So, that’s what led to that whitepaper. It was released in January of 2020 after a literally two-year stakeholder engagement process that included the American Coalition for Ethanol, one of the co-founders of the process. We also had the Renewable Fuels Association, a number of individual biofuel producers, the National Biodiesel Board, National Corn and a number of state ag commodity groups. We also had groups like ChargePoint, a variety of groups in the electric utility sector, in the electric vehicle industry and automakers. We had this interesting broad coalition of groups that aren’t always working together.” On the Potential for Legislatures to Adopt Clean Fuel Policies: “I would say under the radar, there is interest and momentum in a number of states. We’ve seen clean fuel policies show up in governor-convened climate and energy taskforce reports in Wisconsin, in Illinois, and there’s similar processes taking place in other states, and there’s also sort of stakeholder-led initiatives. So, nothing’s turned into legislation yet, but I would be shocked if there aren’t multiple states with clean fuels legislation in 2022, just given the level of interest we’re seeing around the region.” On What the Modeling Underlying the Policy Whitepaper Revealed: “First, the modeling strongly endorses this idea that it’s going to take a portfolio approach. So, we modeled different carbon intensity targets. We modeled 10%, 15%, and 20% carbon intensity reduction by 2035. We found that all of those scenarios were feasible. Twenty percent might be a bit of a stretch, but it’s doable, and sort of the further you do, the more you need to draw on not just increase biofuel blending, but carbon intensity reductions from the biofuel producers, so it’s not just more ethanol, but lower-carbon ethanol. You do need some pretty optimistic assumptions, but I’m an optimist about electric vehicle adoption. One of the things we found too, is that we didn’t really find that the sectors were in competition with each other, and really, the key here is we can have pretty high-level electric vehicle adoption. Even though that results in shrinking of the gasoline and diesel pool, as long as you can stay ahead of that with increasing blends, then you can still have a growing biofuels sector alongside growing EV adoption.” The post #61. Brendan Jordan of Great Plains Institute on the Midwest Clean Fuels Policy appeared first on Transport Energy Strategies.
24 May 2021
#60. David Rapson of UC Davis: Are EVs a Good Substitute for Gasoline Cars?
For this video podcast, I spoke to Dr. David Rapson, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California at Davis about a study he and colleagues recently completed on electric vehicles (EVs), “Low Energy: Estimating Electric Vehicle Electricity Use” in which the team provided the first at-scale estimate of EV home charging by matching 12 billion observations of hourly electricity usage with EV registration data. The team found the average EV increases overall household load by 2.9 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day, less than half the amount assumed by state regulators. They then scaled this up to account for away-from-home charging to estimate annual eVMT. The results implied that plug-in hybrids travel 1,700 miles per year on electricity and battery electrics 6,700 miles per year, both far below miles traveled in gasoline cars. Following are a couple of excerpts from our discussion, which you can view or download below, or listen to in ITunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or TuneIn. On the Surprise of the 2.9 kWh per Day Finding: “Yes, we were surprised. We were. I mean, this is really a very low amount of electricity consumed for EVs. We thought that these dedicated meters were probably a little bit selected, that they were probably going to show higher electricity consumption than the average EV. But we didn’t expect it to be two to three times as high. So yes, we were definitely surprised by these results. And actually, that caused us to take several months of really making sure that this result is correct, doing tons of robustness checks and in the end, we’re very confident that this is an accurate measure in our sample of what people are using at home.” On the Whether EVs Are Viewed as Complements or Substitutes by Consumers: “It really matters for the vision of transportation electrification whether EVs are seen by consumers as complements or substitutes. We’re actually testing this now in more recent data and we can see the entire vehicle portfolio that a household owns — whether this a situation where EVs are part of a big portfolio and taking just a small slice of the VMT, or whether they are replacing gasoline cars outright. We’re not quite there yet, but I think that early indications are that they are at least for some households complements. So yeah, what does this mean for policy? Well, again, I think that’s unclear. Eventually this vision requires that most of the VMT is displaced from gasoline to electric, and to the extent that’s not happening, I think we should all care why. Is it just because of battery range and range anxiety that might be associated with inadequate charging infrastructure? That might be the case. It might also be just a selection issue — that the people who are buying cars over this period are just different. They’re wealthier, which we have seen. They’ve got a big car portfolio and they’re just dipping their toe in the water. But maybe in a few years, the technology will be such that they’ll feel comfortable just buying an EV outright and getting rid of their gasoline cars. And I don’t think we know yet how that’s all going to play out.” On too Many Carrots and Not Enough Sticks: “I think that this highlights just one of the main points that I want to get across to anybody who has influence in forming these policies, or just cares about transportation emissions reductions. I think that we have two categories of policies. We’ve got carrots and we’ve got sticks. Because of the intransigence of the political opposition that has been facing people who want to get a carbon price in there, either through tax or through cap and trade, people who really care about this issue have become basically desperate. I can understand why because there has not been enough climate action. So, the question has shifted from what should we do to what is feasible? And it turns out that what’s feasible is carrots. And this leaves us in a situation where, okay, that’s what can be done and I’m sure that will have some effect. If you pay people enough money, they’re going to adopt EVs. There’s no question about that. And if you clean up the electric grid, those EVs are going to pollute less than gasoline cars, and those are good things. But there’s also a question of costs and incentives. My concern with going with the carrot-only approach is it doesn’t penalize people who are making polluting decisions. And I think we really need to do that, and the Norway example is a really great case study in penalizing the polluting good. That creates the right incentives. If all we do is subsidize the greener good, we’re still not making it more costly to pollute and my fear is that that policy is going to be less effective than people hope. That this might not end up leading to the carbon abatement that is pretty much the whole purpose of this exercise. Or at least it’s one of the main motivating factors.” The post #60. David Rapson of UC Davis: Are EVs a Good Substitute for Gasoline Cars? appeared first on Transport Energy Strategies.
5 May 2021