Yet unlike these sectors, which often derive their energy from a relatively diversified portfolio of fuels, transportation globally relies on petroleum for more than 90 percent of delivered energy. This lack of fuel diversity in transportation has given oil an unrivaled role among energy sources in impacting the health of the global economy. Meanwhile, without significant changes in policy or technology, CO2 emissions from transportation are expected to double by 2050, making it one of the fastest growing sources of emissions globally.
During the past five years alone, numerous technological solutions to these challenges have begun to emerge as the automotive, aviation, and shipping industries have experienced a wave of innovation. For the first time in more than 100 years, viable competition to petroleum fuels and combustion engines is entering the market, even as combustion technology continues to improve in performance. Yet significant uncertainty remains regarding the most effective market and policy mechanisms needed to allow these technologies, which are often dependent on nascent refueling infrastructure networks, high technology costs, and unfamiliarity to consumers and businesses, to compete on a level playing field.
How will countries like China and India accommodate rising levels of per capita vehicle ownership without undermining energy security or environmental quality? What financial and policy tools will prove most effective for allowing all transportation technologies to compete on a level playing field? What impact will electric and natural gas vehicles have in the marketplace? EPIC-affiliated researchers will work to drive change in transportation by providing new answers to these and other questions.