If the ultimate goal is to decarbonize transportation, there are reasons to be concerned about current electric vehicle (EV) policy. Sixty percent of US and worldwide electricity is generated from fossil fuels, causing the carbon footprint of EVs to vary dramatically based on where (and when) they are adopted. Moreover, the transition to a 100% renewable electricity grid is in its early stages and remains risky and uncertain. Building on these facts, Professor Rapson questions the emerging dogma that society should push to 100% electric transportation powered by solar and wind. Instead, he advocates for pursuing “technology-neutral” climate policies built on pollution pricing, which minimizes the risks and costs of deep decarbonization by aligning private incentives with societal decarbonization goals.
Technology neutral climate policies
Professor of Economics and Director of the Davis Energy Economics Program (DEEP)
University of California, Davis