What is the role of plug-in hybrid and electric cars in all of this?
Based on our analysis, the world should be able to achieve the 50-by-50 target, and interim targets, just with existing technologies for gasoline and diesel vehicles. However, as electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles become available, they may also play an important role, considering they are likely to be very efficient vehicles. And, as mentioned, some parts of the world may need to go beyond a 50% improvement to get a global 50% improvement.
In addition, although the target of the GFEI is stabilization, already ambitious on its own, we should actually go beyond that and reduce the global greenhouse gas footprint of the global vehicle fleet. Vehicles like electric vehicles which have no direct emissions, would be essential to achieve this. However they would need to be introduced very widely, and the electricity used to power them would also need to be decarbonised.
Hybrid vehicles are included in the GFEI – they are internal combustion engines. Actually the GFEI report says that we aim at wide hybridisation of vehicle fleets. Plug-in hybrids and electric are not necessary to achieve the 50by50. That does not mean we do not belief they will play a role or that we do not back these technologies – on the contrary, as explained above, they will probably be needed to compensate for the areas that will lag behind, and they will be needed to go below stabilisation.