Road transportation accounts for 25% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in British Columbia (B.C.) and more than half of these emissions originate from road freight transport. We examined the potential of all-electric freight trucks to achieve 64% GHG emissions reduction by 2040. The results suggest that even the stringent regulations on fuel efficiency of conventional trucks will fail to steadily decrease the emissions. More than 65% of freight trucks would have to run on all-electric powertrains which translates into 100% sector penetration as early as 2025. We assessed the available local energy resources for mass market penetration of all-electric trucks. The results suggest that every 1% of GHG emissions reduction from road freight transport would require 1.5–3.8% additional hydroelectric generation by 2040. Correspondingly, a 64% reduction requires 12–33TWh of electricity. That is 2.5–6.5 times the projected generation of the B.C.’s largest hydroelectric project in decades (Site C). Hence, new policies are required to support diversified renewable electricity generation and low-carbon pathways. For example, carbon capture and sequestration coupled with provincial reserves of natural gas can enable low-carbon hydrogen production and decrease the electricity requirements for zero-emission vehicles in B.C.
Energy Policy – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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