cleantech, climate change, green tech, innovation, research

The Future of Automobiles is Electric and It’s Complicated

By Rebecca Duff-
the-future-of-automobiles-is-electric-and-its-complicated

Slowing climate change to a level that will avoid potentially catastrophic impacts will require near total decarbonization of economic activity by 2060.  Wow, that’s a big ask!  Is it even possible, and where can we focus our efforts to have the biggest influence?  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, electricity generation, transportation, and industrials represent 77% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.  Globally, these sectors along with agriculture make up 84% of emissions.  Identifying the potential for green innovation in these sectors could have a significant impact – so let’s start there.

This week we released the first in a series of sector-focused research reports – Path to 2060: Decarbonizing the Automobile Industry – that looks at the role of innovation in reducing climate impact and the levers that can help facilitate market transformation.  Accompanying the report is a podcast and webinar where I discuss with Professor Mike Lenox the history of the electric car and the many disruptive forces that are influencing the future of automobiles.

The good news is that the innovation engine is humming along and by 2060, gasoline-powered cars likely will be a thing of the past.  What will the dominant technology be?  Well, that’s where it gets complicated.  To learn more, visit our Research page.

Stay tuned for our next sector report on energy, scheduled to be released in early 2018.