03 Jun 2019, 14:04
Sören Amelang

Shift to electric cars unlikely to reduce CO2 emissions in Germany before 2040 - study

Clean Energy Wire

Electric cars are unlikely to reduce Germany’s carbon footprint by any significant margin before 2040, according to a study by Berlin climate research institute MCC and the University of Newcastle. With reference to Germany’s relatively high share of fossil fuels in electricity generation, study author Felix Creutzig said in a press release: “In the long term, e-mobility must play a major role. But in order to reduce emissions in the short term, policymakers must address mileage by increasing fuel taxes, and encourage modal switch towards buses, trains or bicycles.”
The study was published in the journal Applied Energy and mainly looks at e-mobility in Great Britain. In its press release, the MCC says that conditions for the switch to electric cars are worse in Germany because of its use higher share of coal power and because Britain has decided to ban new registrations of conventional petrol and diesel engines by 2040. Looking at Britain, the study anticipates that shifting to electric cars can barely contribute to a reduction in CO2-emissions in the transport sector by 2030 – and only a 10 percent reduction by 2040.

Germany has not managed to lower transport emissions since 1990 but plans to cut the sector’s CO2 output by at least 40 percent over the next ten years. In 2018, lignite and hard coal made up around a quarter of Germany’s gross power production.

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