5. Electric cars are key to cutting northeast CO2
National Grid's Terry Sobolewski writes for Axios ... The recent pace of emission reductions in New York and New England is insufficient to meet 2050 CO2 emissions targets, set at an 80% reduction from 1990 levels, according to the most recent data published by the Energy Information Administration.
In fact, at recent emission reduction rates, the Northeast region will struggle to make it even halfway to its goal.
The big picture: While the power sector has made progress, transportation emissions across the Northeast remain stubbornly at or above 1990 levels, and now account for over 40% of all energy-related emissions (e.g., transportation, heating and power generation).
Without continued decarbonization of the electric sector, electrification of the transportation sector, and accelerated progress in the heating sector, the Northeast will fall far short of its goal.
In light of the magnitude of the transportation challenge, here are some key initiatives that would help the Northeast meet its 2030 emissions targets:
- Deploy 10 million electric passenger cars and light trucks in the next decade, which will effectively require that EVs make up all light-duty vehicle sales by 2028. This transformation would build on both the increasing decarbonization of the power sector and the inherent energy efficiency of EVs compared to internal combustion engines.
- Advance new zero-carbon options for heavier transport sectors, such as medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fleets, with a focus on near-term advances such as electric buses and freight trucks.
- Maximize investment in EV charging infrastructure, aligning financial incentives for utilities with public policy to accelerate vehicle adoption.