[Oeva-list] WWF says Plug-in
patrick0101 at gmail.com
patrick0101 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 4 00:21:04 PDT 2008
The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) has released a report titled "*Plugged
In: The End of the Oil Age*". There is a summary report (PDF slideset) and
the full 202 page report at the link below.
Major Findings: Plugging-in reduces climate change and reduces global
My favorite quote "The only sustainable approach to the crisis is to tackle
its root cause: the prevalence of the internal combustion engine."
I wish they would have released this in time for the CARB members to read
the last line "But ultimately, leadership on moving to the best transport
fuel mix will need to come from governments."
Here is the press release for the report:
Cars should plug-in to a new future
02 Apr 2008
Dramatically expanded use of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles would be a
way to a transport future that doesn't risk climate catastrophe, a major
new WWF analysis has found.
Such a move would also reduce the risk of conflict over less oil more and
more concentrated in relatively unstable areas of the world.
*Plugged In: The End of the Oil Age* considers the future of a transport
sector now 95 per cent dependent on liquid hydrocarbon fuels and examines
the impacts and practicalities of electric, coal-to-liquid, gas-to-liquid,
natural gas and hydrogen powered transport for the future
It finds that vehicles running solely or partly on grid-connected
electricity are more efficient and less greenhouse gas intensive than all
alternatives, even with most power now being generated using fossil fuels.
The report also finds that cleaner power generation and more use of
renewable fuels in power generation will make it certain that the
comparative efficiency and pollution advantages of plug-in transport will
improve into the future, while the future of liquid fuels is one of
increasing resort to dirtier sources that will take more energy to turn into
"We should all be relying more on walking and biking, on buses and trains,
to get to where we need to go. But cars will inevitably remain a major part
of the transport equation," said James Leape, Director General of WWF
"The cars of the future must be much more efficient -- smaller, lighter,
more aerodynamic -- and they should, increasingly, be powered by
As oil becomes more difficult to access, techniques to create liquid fuels
from coal are now being vigorously pursued in the US, China, India,
Australia and South Africa.
"Coal-to-liquid fuels are costly, energy intensive and extremely polluting,
and have previously only been used on any significant scale in countries
facing a state of emergency," said report author Dr Gary Kendall.
Other alternatives to traditional oil extraction include exploitation of oil
sands, which generates three times the emissions of petroleum processing and
causes devastation to the local environment. Natural gas suffers from
similar looming supply uncertainties to oil and makes its greatest
beneficial climate impact by displacing coal in heat and power generation.
The report also finds that the electric vehicles can be three times more
efficient than hydrogen-fuelled vehicles. More importantly perhaps,
electric vehicles can be widely introduced using existing technologies
and distribution infrastructure.
"Automotive transport is ripe for transformation," said Dr Kendall. "We need
to accelerate the commercialisation of vehicles with diversified primary
energy sources, high efficiency and compatibility with a sustainable,
renewable energy future. The electrification of automotive transport offers
a promising way to achieve this objective."
To do so, the report recommends dismantling market barriers to superior
technologies and removing a host of hidden and overt subsidies to liquid
fuel use. Vehicles should be subject to similar energy labelling and
efficiency improvement requirements as other energy-consuming appliances.
Liquid-based measures of fuel economy (e.g. litres per 100km or miles per
gallon) and CO2 emissions targets should be replaced with technology-neutral
indicators of energy consumed per kilometre.
"We cannot depend upon today's dominant transport solution providers to
drive the shift away from liquid hydrocarbon fuels," Dr Kendall said.
"Other business sectors – such as power utilities for instance – will come
to the fore in recognizing the business opportunities of grid-connected
"But ultimately, leadership on moving to the best transport fuel mix will
need to come from governments."
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