Forecourt plug-in hybrids will also have to disappear by 2035 at the latest, according to analysis by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).

Vehicle emissions have barely changed over the last decade and the industry will exhaust its carbon budget within five to 10 years unless there is a radical shift, the DLR scientists say.

“Auto CO2-emissions need to peak as soon as possible,” Prof Horst Friedrich, DLR’s director, told the Guardian. “Looking at the dwindling carbon budget it is crucial to push low-emitting cars into the market, the earlier the better, to renew the fleet.”

The study warns that “stark measures” would be needed to do this with a 66% chance of meeting the 1.5C goal – including a drop in conventional car sales from around 15m this year to 5m in 2022.

Under this scenario, the last vehicle with an internal combustion engine would be sold in 2028 and diesel and petrol powered-cars would be banished from the roads by the mid-2040s.

Behavioural change towards walking, cycling and public transport would also be necessary.

“It would be much easier to keep a 2C target because there is a higher carbon budget and therefore more time to implement the necessary measures,” Friedrich said. “I estimate it could provide us with up to 10 years more time to prepare much better for the fundamental transformations necessary.”

A draft report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes clear that 2C of warming would expose around 10 million more people in coastal areas to floods, storm surges and crop damage than 1.5C would. Global sea levels would also rise by an extra 10cm, heatwaves would be longer, extreme weather events stronger, economic growth lower, while crop yields and water availability would substantially decline.

So far, the European Commission has proposed a 30% cut in vehicle emissions by 2030, although MEPs are pushing to raise that figure to 45%.

The UK government has announced that sales of all new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned by 2040, while some countries including Germany, Ireland, India and the Netherlands have set a more ambitious deadline of 2030.

Energy utilities have often led calls for greater ambition and Kristian Ruby, the secretary general of Eurelectric, the power sector trade association, said that the current EU proposal was “not in line with the Paris objectives”.

He told the Guardian: “The timeline of a full phase-out by 2030 does sound quite ambitious. Car makers are only ramping up now for around 20 new electric models that will come to market next year. But this needs to happen, and faster than currently seen by the European Commission. There is no doubt about that.”

Some analysts also believe that Europe’s car manufacturers have made no real-world improvement in auto CO2 emissions for five years, because of the “gaming” of emissions tests.

A spokesperson for the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said: “It is still hard to predict whether the alternative powertrains will have gained a significantly high market share by 2030. This is dependent on factors that are outside the control of automobile manufacturers, such as the necessary recharging infrastructure being in place as well appropriate incentives.”

Arthur Nelson 

This article first appeared on the Guardian

edie is part of the Guardian Environment Network 


Comments (2)

  1. C. Alvin Scott says:

    I have been saying this on Edie and other platforms for months.

    There are these people researching and putting out reports and there are people who are opposed to this happening who are still in a position to block new innovation or to not take innovation up or promote it.

    HyPulJet Ezi H2 a development project at a UK University struggling to get funding for initial modelling, whilst Govt hands funding to have building materials store clean energy

    HyPulJet is a concept for a Hydrogen Combustion Turbine-generator to power EVs needs development to ensure it is viable and then through to a Proof of Concept on the road Zero emissions EV.

    That will be made easy and low cost with the development of ACE II as Ezi H2 on board the EV Hydrogen Fuel system.

    ACE II is US designed/owned it is Alternating Current Electrolysis where normal centuries old Hydrolysis has been Direct Current use and very energy intensive. As a result DC Hydrolysis has not been credible for On board the EV Fuel production.

    Basically, ACE II is Low-Voltage, Low amps. Low hertz uses Catalytic carbon and powdered Aluminium at 80 degrees C with prolific hydrogen production. In the case of the Hydrogen on demand system to match the needs of HyPulJet it is the case that the reaction needs to be controlled.

    One benefit after the Hydrogen is used, the bye product is Aluminium Hydroxide which is exceptional for reuse/recycling (Antiperspirant’s use

    This could bring about Affordable Zero emissions EV at the lowest costs in all respects of funding as there is no need for the infrastructure which BEVs and H2 FCEVs need.

    Auto makers already produce EVs which use petrol generators So likes of BMW could simply convert their i3 model to the HyPulJet Ezi H2 Power Pack and there is a Zero emissions EV which could lose a major portion of the battery pack and be a lower price than the petrol version.

  2. Richard Phillips says:

    So from where does the replacement energy come?
    There are no plans to build the additional generating plant, indeed the Infrastructure Commission just want more turbines,insanity, they have little if any practical knowledge, and seem not to want it!
    I have never seen any proposed mechanism for the process by which CO2 influences gobal warming so much above its concentration, except glib statements about inceasing water vapour, which do not bear examination.
    But alot of money is being made.
    Richard Phillips

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