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Week 20 – Case study 5: Transport

Please prepare responses to the worksheet questions before the class.

Primary reading

Hausfather, Z (2019), Factcheck: How electric vehicles help to tackle climate change, Carbon Brief, May 13th

Anderson, K and Calverley, D (2020), The solution is the problem, The Ecologist, Nov 24th

Discussion questions

  1. What general picture emerges from examining the evidence on lifecycle emissions from EVs versus conventional vehicles?
  2. Why does it matter how electricity is generated?
    What immediate consequences might arise from increased use of EVs?
  3. What concerns are raised by Anderson and Calverley about the UK’s policy direction on EVs?
  4. What alternative approaches to transport should we be thinking about?

Background reading

Kevin Anderson is Professor of Energy and Climate Change, with joint appointment between the Universities of Manchester, Uppsala and Bergen. He is a member of the Decarbonate transport network: DeCarboN8“DecarboN8 is an EPSRC funded network seeking to bring together business, government and academia across the North of England. We aim to create an innovation ecosystem and test bed environment which allows us to trial and accelerate the adoption of low carbon transport solutions.”

Calvo Ambel, C (2018), How to decarbonise European transport by 2050, Transport & Environment, November
[T&E calls this the ‘synthesis’ report and there is now an update to this report: Ash, N et al (2020), Renewable electricity requirements to decarbonise transport in Europe with electric vehicles, hydrogen and electrofuels, Transport & Environment / Ricardo Energy & Environment, December 4th – link to PDF ]

De Cock, G (2020), Electrofuels? Yes, we can … if we’re efficient, Transport & Environment, December

Dept for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (2020), The ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, Nov 18th

Dept for Transport (2021), National Travel Attitudes Study: Wave 4 (final), Jan 28th

Fridstrom, L (2021), The Norwegian Vehicle Electrification Policy and Its Implicit Price of Carbon, Sustainabilty, 13(3), 1346

Kommenda, N (2019), SUVs second biggest cause of emissions rise, figures reveal, The Guardian, Oct 25th
[refers to this IEA commentary]

Milman, O (2020), How SUVs conquered the world – at the expense of its climate, The Guardian, Sept 1st

Transport & Environment (2021), Electric cars
see Transport & Enviroment (2020), How clean are electric cars? T&E’s analysis of electric car lifecycle CO2 emissions, April [link to pdf]

Recent news articles

Carrington, D (2020), Car tyres are major source of ocean microplastics – study, The Guardian, July 14th

Carrington, D (2021), Electric vehicles close to ‘tipping point’ of mass adoption, The Guardian, Jan 22nd

Jolly, J (2020a), ‘E-highways’ could slash UK road freight emissions, says study, The Guardian, July 27th

Jolly, J (2020b), Petrol and diesel cars could cost up to £1,500 more under proposals, The Guardian, Sept 9th

Jolly, J (2020c), More than 500,000 full electric cars sold so far this year in Europe, The Guardian,  Dec 3rd

Jolly, J (2020d), Toyota will not invest in electric cars in UK until after 2027, The Guardian, Dec 7th

Jolly, J (2020e), Race is on as carmakers shut, switch or sell combustion engine factories, The Guardian, Dec 27th

Monbiot, G (2020), Electric cars won’t solve our pollution problems – Britain needs a total transport rethink, The Guardian, Sept 23rd

Topham, G (2020), Covid set back attitudes to public transport by two decades, says RAC, The Guardian, Nov 9th