The electrification of transport is the main frontier in the battle to reduce emissions from a sector that accounts for 15% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. For all the concern around air travel, aviation is not even close to being the biggest culprit. 8 gigatons of emissions come from tailpipes per year and we must replace all gasoline and diesel powered vehicles with a fleet of zero-emissions cars, trucks and buses by 2050. The poster child for transport electrification is Elon Musk and Tesla.

As of January 2021, nearly 10 million EVs were on the road worldwide but despite the growing popularity of EV’s the number of miles driven with combustion vehicles are projected to remain at their current level. We’re not moving fast enough because EV’s can’t yet compete on convenience and cost with combustion vehicles. Each year, tiny particles from tailpipes and power plants cause 350,000 premature deaths in the US alone. Electrifying transportation is more than a cornerstone of our net-zero plan, it’s essential to curbing deadly diseases that plague poorer countries.

Sample Sectors of Interest (not exclusive to the below)

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Electric Vehicles

At a base case with EV’s at 16% of total passenger miles by 2050, this would avoid 10.8 gigatons of CO2. With declining battery costs and increased performance and better affordability we expect this figure to be a lot higher.

Ranking and Results by 2050 (Onshore)

10.8 Gigatons of reduced CO2


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More than 80% of global trade, by weight, floats from place to place. Ships are the most carbon effective way to move goods. Making oceanic freighting more efficient is important for air quality and human health. An efficiency gain of 50% across the shipping industry would save 7.9 gigatons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions.

Ranking and Results by 2050 (Onshore)

7.87 Gigatons of reduced CO2


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We need to make new trucks more efficient from a fuel perspective. We also need to electrify trucks in the future once battery capabilities are there. Finally, we need to optimize the best routes from A to B. The adoption of fuel saving technologies from 2% of trucks to 85% by 2050 can deliver 6.3 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions reductions.

Ranking and Results by 2050 (Onshore)

6.18 Gigatons of reduced CO2


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As airplanes will continue to depend on liquid fuels for the foreseeable future, investment in biofuels is on the rise. 30-40% of an airlines’ operating costs are fuel. The combination of biofuels, retrofitting aircrafts with winglets, newer engines, lighter interiors and retiring older aircraft could lead to 5.1 gigatons of emissions being avoided.

Ranking and Results by 2050 (Onshore)

5.05 Gigatons of reduced CO2


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Covid accelerated remote working to a degree few could have imagined in such a short space of time. With an increasing % of workers having access to a strong internet connection, more and more people will go to work without going anywhere at all. Avoiding emissions from business travel can reduce emissions by 2 gigatons over 30 years.

Ranking and Results by 2050 (Onshore)

2 Gigatons of reduced CO2


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Electric Bikes

Half of all urban trips are less than 6 miles, an easy distance for an electric bike. E-bikes make hills manageable, journeys swifter and longer trips more viable. In 2014, e-bike riders traveled around 249 billion miles, mainly in China. Market research points to 1.2 trillion miles being travelled by 2050. This solution could reduce 1 gigaton of carbon dioxide emissions.

Ranking and Results by 2050 (Onshore)

1 Gigaton of reduced CO2


Source: Drawdown the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming


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