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Global Enviro Organization WWF Strongly Endorses Plug-In Cars

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  • Felix Kramer
    The most global environmental group has just released a milestone report, Plugged-in: the End of the Oil Age. It s written by an oil industry insider who I
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2008
      The most global environmental group has just
      released a milestone report, "Plugged-in: the End
      of the Oil Age." It's written by an oil industry
      insider who I see as having come over from the
      "dark side." It concludes that the
      electrification of transportation is a way out
      from our 95 per cent reliance on liquid fossil fuels.

      REPORT'S ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: We have long been
      surprised that, compared to other constituencies,
      much of the global environmental community has
      been slow to recognize the benefits and near-term
      practicality of plug-in cars. We hope this report
      will help move them forward. We encourage our
      readers to forward this email to organizations of which they are members.

      ABOUT WWF: It's still known in the US and Canada
      as the World Wildlife Fund, but since 1986
      everywhere else it's The World Wide Fund for
      Nature. With its panda logo, Wikipedia says it's
      "the world's largest independent conservation
      organization with over 5 million supporters
      worldwide, working in more than 90 countries,
      supporting 15,000 conservation and environmental
      projects around the world." WWF says it
      "proposes solutions to stop the degradation of
      planet’s natural environment and to build a
      future in which humans live in harmony with
      nature. Combatting climate change and reducing
      threats to biodiversity on land and sea are among
      the key priorities for WWF’s work." The
      organization, headquartered in Switzerland, has a
      decentralized structure, and works with
      governments, corporations and non-governmental
      organizations globally -- so its endorsement is
      very significant. (If "environment" doesn't come
      to mind when you hear "WWF," it now should: after
      a legal battle several years ago, the Worldwide
      Wrestling Federation changed its name to World Wrestling Entertainment -- WWE.)

      ABOUT THE REPORT AND ITS AUTHOR: We encourage you
      to download the entire 202-page report, not just
      the summary and read most or all of it. (You'll
      see why when you look at the full table of
      contents at end end of this post.) It's a very
      broad evaluation of the entire range of fuel and
      societal options. It's illuminating and
      entertainingly written. It doesn't read like a
      study put together by a committee, but rather by
      an expert who is not afraid to combine careful
      analysis with entertaining color and real
      emotion. Here's how the press release describes
      the report's principal author, who held a range
      of positions at Exxon-Mobile and now works out of the European Policy Office:
      Dr Gary Kendall is Senior Energy Business and
      Policy Analyst for the WWF Global Climate Change
      and Energy Programme based in Brussels. He
      joined WWF in 2006 after nine years in the
      petroleum industry in Europe and Asia. He holds
      a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Liverpool.

      to its analysis, it brings together much that
      hasn't been broadly seen or understood. My
      favorite example, which demonstrates the
      challenge the world faces in evolving to
      low-carbon solutions: report page 25 (PDF page
      27) is a page I've printed out to show people anytime. Here's the caption:
      Figure 5: The ranking of the top fifty global
      corporations by revenue in 2006 shows the
      economic dominance of petroleum-based automotive
      transport. Nine of the top ten and nineteen of
      the top fifty companies operate in either
      "Petroleum Refining" or "Motor Vehicles,"
      contributing 46% of revenue. (Data source: Fortune Magazine)

      DOWNLOADS: The report is currently highlighted on
      the WWF home page http://www.panda.org
      * Plugged-in: The end of the oil age - Full report [pdf, 1.90 MB]
      * Plugged-in: The end of the oil age - summary [pdf, 618 KB]

      WWF'S PAGE DESCRIBING THE REPORT: Cars should plug-in to a new future: WWF

      CAPTIONS (third photo shows a CalCars 100+MPG PHEV):
      -New analysis from WWF shows that the alternative
      to a 95 per cent reliance on polluting, climate
      damaging and insecure liquid fuels is already here
      -The dirtier, more energy intensive and climate
      damaging future of liquid fuels - extracting oil sands in Canada
      -More efficient and more climate friendly -
      hybrid electric vehicles win on both counts even
      with majority fossil fuelled electricity grids
      and will only get better as more renewable energy
      sources are used for power generation.
      -From electric cars to electric vehicles -
      scooters, bicycles and personal transporters are adding new options to mobility

      Gland, Switzerland / Brussels, Belgium:
      Dramatically expanded use of plug-in electric and
      hybrid vehicles would be a way to a transport
      future that doesn't risk climate catastrophe, a
      major new WWF analysis has found.

      Such a move would also reduce the risk of
      conflict over less oil more and more concentrated
      in relatively unstable areas of the world.

      Plugged In: The End of the Oil Age considers the
      future of a transport sector now 95 per cent
      dependent on liquid hydrocarbon fuels and
      examines the impacts and practicalities of
      electric, coal-to-liquid, gas-to-liquid, natural
      gas and hydrogen powered transport for the future

      It finds that vehicles running solely or partly
      on grid-connected electricity are more efficient
      and less greenhouse gas intensive than all
      alternatives, even with most power now being generated using fossil fuels.

      The report also finds that cleaner power
      generation and more use of renewable fuels in
      power generation will make it certain that the
      comparative efficiency and pollution advantages
      of plug-in transport will improve into the
      future, while the future of liquid fuels is one
      of increasing resort to dirtier sources that will
      take more energy to turn into fuels.

      “We should all be relying more on walking and
      biking, on buses and trains, to get to where we
      need to go. But cars will inevitably remain a
      major part of the transport equation," said James
      Leape, Director General of WWF International.

      "The cars of the future must be much more
      efficient -- smaller, lighter, more aerodynamic
      -- and they should, increasingly, be powered by electricity,”

      As oil becomes more difficult to access,
      techniques to create liquid fuels from coal are
      now being vigorously pursued in the US, China,
      India, Australia and South Africa.

      “Coal-to-liquid fuels are costly, energy
      intensive and extremely polluting, and have
      previously only been used on any significant
      scale in countries facing a state of emergency,”
      said report author Dr Gary Kendall.

      Other alternatives to traditional oil extraction
      include exploitation of oil sands, which
      generates three times the emissions of petroleum
      processing and causes devastation to the local
      environment. Natural gas suffers from similar
      looming supply uncertainties to oil and makes its
      greatest beneficial climate impact by displacing
      coal in heat and power generation.

      The report also finds that the electric vehicles
      can be three times more efficient than
      hydrogen-fuelled vehicles. More importantly
      perhaps, electric vehicles can be widely
      introduced using existing technologies and distribution infrastructure.

      “Automotive transport is ripe for
      transformation,” said Dr Kendall. “We need to
      accelerate the commercialisation of vehicles with
      diversified primary energy sources, high
      efficiency and compatibility with a sustainable,
      renewable energy future. The electrification of
      automotive transport offers a promising way to achieve this objective.”

      To do so, the report recommends dismantling
      market barriers to superior technologies and
      removing a host of hidden and overt subsidies to
      liquid fuel use. Vehicles should be subject to
      similar energy labelling and efficiency
      improvement requirements as other
      energy-consuming appliances. Liquid-based
      measures of fuel economy (e.g. litres per 100km
      or miles per gallon) and CO2 emissions targets
      should be replaced with technology-neutral
      indicators of energy consumed per kilometre.

      “We cannot depend upon today’s dominant transport
      solution providers to drive the shift away from
      liquid hydrocarbon fuels,” Dr Kendall
      said. “Other business sectors – such as power
      utilities for instance – will come to the fore in
      recognizing the business opportunities of grid-connected transport.

      “But ultimately, leadership on moving to the best
      transport fuel mix will need to come from governments."


      PREFACE 7

      Lessons from History 16
      Wonderful Crude Oil 17
      Transport Equals Oil 19
      Oil Equals Power 24
      Oil Security 27
      High Oil Prices and Their Effects 29
      Peak Oil 32
      The Rise of National Oil Companies 33

      Structure of the Oil Industry 39
      Oil versus Transport 41
      A Boost for Renewables? 42
      Core Business 47
      Unconventional Oils 48
      Oil Sands 50
      Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) 55
      Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) 58
      The Convergence of Transport and Power 64

      The End of the ICE Age 67
      Escaping Lock-in 68
      Transformational Change 70
      Disruptive Technologies 72
      The Great American Streetcar Scandal 74
      “Beyond Petroleum” 75
      The China Factor 76
      250 Million Vehicles 76

      Life-cycle Analysis 79
      Electrons versus Liquids 82
      CO2 Emissions 86
      Resource Efficiency 91
      Stationary Emissions 97
      Technology Options 98
      Limitations of Battery Electric Vehicles 98
      The Rise of the Hybrid 104
      The Ultimate Flexible Fuel Vehicle 107
      A Boost for Renewables? 110
      Grid-Connected Vehicles in Practice 112
      Battery Electric Vehicles 112
      Plug-in Hybrids 116
      Fuelling the Plug-in 120
      Residual Liquid Demand 120
      How Much New Electricity? 122
      Electricity is Not Just for Cars 125
      Electric Buses, Trucks, and Vans 125
      Electric Two-wheelers 127

      Hydrocarbon Gases 130
      Liquefied Petroleum Gas 130
      Compressed Natural Gas 131
      Growth and Dependency 132
      Oil Companies and the Hydrogen Highway 133
      Blinkered to the Range of Solutions 135
      The Hydrogen Car is an Electric Car 136
      The Hydrogen Economy 137
      Hydrogen Production 138
      Hydrogen Distribution and Storage 141
      Hydrogen Fuel Cells 142
      Well-to-Wheel Comparison of Fuel Cell and Plug-in Electric Vehicles 143
      Hydrogen in Internal Combustion 147
      The Hydrogen Future 147

      Policy Options 151
      Picking winners? 152
      An Integrated Approach 153
      Appliance Energy Efficiency Standards 154
      CO2 Intensity of Energy 157
      Zero-Emission Vehicle Mandates 159
      Consumer Incentives 160
      Infrastructure 162
      Taxation 162
      Government Research 163
      Public Procurement 163
      Emerging Business Models 164
      Car Conversions 164
      Car Sharing Clubs 165
      Mass Transit Partnerships 167
      Energy Services 167
      International Oil Companies 168
      Unintended Consequences 170
      Battery Impacts 170
      A Boost for Nukes? 171
      Induced Demand 172
      Geographical Focus 173
      North America 174
      European Union 175
      Japan 175
      Rapidly Emerging Economies 176


      REFERENCES 184

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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