Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Introductory Chapter: Towards 2050 NZE Pathway - Electric Transportation

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Marian Gaiceanu

Submitted: December 19th, 2021 Reviewed: December 21st, 2021 Published: March 30th, 2022

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.102324

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1. Introduction

If there are some dilemmas which type of green vehicle to choose, the consumers should take into account some aspects: autonomy, infrastructure availability, time to battery charge, cost, safety, efficiency, electric vehicle development in the medium and long-term. There are pros and contra for both types of source vehicles: fuel cells, lithium-ion battery or both. With the use of fuel cells combined with the cogeneration technology, all the necessary sources for electric vehicle operation are available: electric, and thermal (for any season) [1, 2, 3]. The maximum energy efficiency of the fuel cell-based vehicle is lower than that of the battery-powered electric vehicle [4]. Recently (2019), the award of the remarkable Nobel Prize for the greenway opened by the use of Li-Ion battery comes as a reward for the effects of its use in global applications, an important step being its application as a primary source for electric transport.


2. Path to achieve zero net CO2 emissions by 2050

In order to ensure the path to Net Zero Emissions (NZE) by 2050, as European Union stated, the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency should be increased, as well as the air quality improving by reducing greenhouse gas emissions should be performed [5]. There are four factors that contribute to the NZE: consumer affection adaptation, governmental policies, the strategy of the traditional original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), corporate companies [6].

The energy consumptions prediction is based on four scenarios, developed by the World Energy Outlook 2021 (WEO-2021) based on the World Energy Model (WE): Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario (NZE, stated as a normative in order to obtain the specific outcomes), the Announced Policies Scenario (APS, stated as exploratory, deliver the market dynamics or other relevant outputs based on the defined set of starting conditions inputs applied to the WEM), the Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS, stated as exploratory), and the Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS, stated as normative to fulfill the Paris Agreement).

In order to highlight the paths to achieve zero net CO2 emissions by 2050, in the global and industrial energy sector by specific actors, there is the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario. In order to achieve the long-term goals agreed in Paris in 2015 to limit global warming to 1.5°C, the Announced Policies Scenario highlights the difference between the target and the current state of energy and climate policies to achieve the above-mentioned goal through all the climate commitments made by governments around the world, but also through their own national contributions. This scenario ensures that all assumed zero net targets are met on time (Announced Policies Scenario).

The Stated Policies Scenario provides a baseline picture of the achievements and developments of energy and climate policies undertaken by governments around the world through their evaluation.

The Sustainable Development Scenario is used to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and to take effective measures to significantly reduce air pollution by 2030, by ensuring universal access to modern energy services (Figure 1) [7].

Figure 1.

The development progress scenario of the population accessing to the electricity [7].

The rise of the sales appears on one hand due to the subsidies inclusion in the pandemic resilient plans in certain European countries), on the other hand, due to the European Union’s policy to ban the sale of polluting vehicles (petrol, gas, or diesel) in 2030. Only in one year (2019–2020), in the Covid-19 pandemic evolution, the EV and PHEV sales have been tripled in EU-27, Iceland, Norway, and the United Kingdom increasing from 3.5% in 2019 to 11.41% in 2020.

The main barriers to purchasing electric vehicles are hierarchal ordered: price, autonomy, charging time [8].

The increase in sales in 2021 is due on the one hand to the introduction of subsidies in certain European countries (following the pandemic recovery plan), on the other hand, due to the European Union’s policy to ban the sale of polluting vehicles (petrol, gas or diesel) in 2030. The main barriers to purchasing electric vehicles are price, autonomy, charging time. Electric vehicles are at risk of being powered by a single power supply.

The EU has seen 2020 the largest increase in sales of electric vehicles in 2020. The best-selling electric cars (including batteries and plug-in hybrid) were registered in Germany, the Nordic countries, and the Netherlands (Figure 2) [9].

Figure 2.

The electric vehicle market in EU by countries: absolute newly registered electric cars [9].

According to Regulation (EU) 2019/631, the CO2 emissions from the new passenger cars should be registered with specific details.

In terms of carbon emissions, the new Environment, Climate, Safety and Security Standard, called the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), came into force in 2021. This standard replaces the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) standard, being closer to the real driving conditions. In this way, each EU country has to register each vehicle on the basis of a data set that characterizes the vehicle (name of the manufacturer, specific emissions of CO2, mass, type of fuel, engine capacity, and engine power) (Figures 3 and 4).

Figure 3.

The number of light vehicles registration by country [9].

Figure 4.

The weight of each type of vehicle depending on the used fuel type [9].

Figure 5 includes the historical greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) in the domestic transport sector of the European Union Member States, the future path of GHGE by taking the stipulated measures of the European Parliament, and the future path without additional measures. Taking into account the reference year of 1990, in 2030 it is expected a reduction of GHGE by 6% with existing additional measures. Without any additional measures case, the GHGE would be increased, the maximum registering in 2025, before changing the gradient sign; thereafter, in 2030 the GHGE would be 10% above the 1990 level. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the GHGE decreases by 12.7% at the 2020 level.

Figure 5.

The historical, present, and the predicted greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector in European Union [10].

The most GHGE production after road transport (72%) are aviation (13.1%-international and domestic) and navigation (13%) at the 2014 level [11], as is shown in Figure 6a.

Figure 6.

EU GHGE distribution in transport sector by mode in 2014 (a) [11] and 2029 (b) [12].

GHGE distribution in the transport sector by mode in 2014 [11] is reflected in Figure 6a. At the 2019 level (Figure 6b), the EU greenhouse emissions in the road transport sector by mode decrease to 71.1%, in aviation increases to13.4%, and in total navigation slowly increase to 14.1%, according to [12].

At the worldwide level, Figure 7 shows the subsector GHGE distribution from the transport domain in 2020 (Figure 8) [13].

Figure 7.

Worldwide GHGE distribution in transport sector by mode in 2020 [13].

Figure 8.

The greenhouse emissions by category: past, present, future [14].

In addition to domestic transport, the international aviation and shipping sectors contribute to the total GHG, which is up from the 1990 reference level.

The largest share of CO2 emissions comes from transport belongs to the road (72% in 2019). Therefore, most of the measures to reduce emissions are dedicated to road transport. The effect will be to reduce this share in 2030 but to increase other modes of transport (e.g. aviation).

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a sharp drop in emissions, especially in the aviation sector, following an increase in the coming years.


3. EU green transition

The EU’s strategy for reducing emissions is based on 3 main pillars: increasing transport efficiency, accelerating the development of low-emission energy alternatives in the field of transport, moving to zero-emission vehicles.

The European Commission implements the green objectives (to reduce CO2 or noxe emissions, at the same time with the use of fossil fuels going through net-zero emissions by 2050) rely on the National Recovery and Resilience Plans to counteract the economic effects of the Covid pandemic, that must be implemented by every European country. EU has imposed one ambitious target to decrease by 55% the CO2 emission up to 2030. This is an intermediate step to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To achieve its goal, the European Union combine the European Environment Agreement, with the European Climate Law. In July 2021, the European Commission proposed CO2 emissions reduction of new cars to zero from 2035. The process of implementing the infrastructure needed for electric vehicles will lead the EU to one of the most advanced continents for the delivery of electric vehicles in the coming years. In this respect, the new goal of the International Energy Agency is to deliver the first energy sector roadmap [15].

One of the EU instruments is “Fit for 55” plan. At the same time, a number of proposals can be found in “Fit for 55”.

Fit for 55 Plan has the main objective the emission reduction by 55% up to 2030 [16]. The major objective of the EU is to attain climate neutrality up to 2050, as it is stipulated in the European Green Deal, through the European Climate Law as the use instrument. The legislative revision related to this plan arise “Fit for 55 package” [17].

According to Figure 9, 31 countries have electrification targets or Internal Combustion Engine bans for cars. The European Union, along with 8 countries have announced zero net emissions commitments.

Figure 9.

Timeline for bans of ICE for EU and different countries [18].

The main category of vehicles that are supposed to be developed is the light-duty vehicle (LDV). The spread of the light-duty vehicle (LDV) will be twill be the most used road vehicle. Even the trucks category type of road vehicles is reduced (5% of the total), the pollution with CO2 reaches 30% of total emissions. Therefore, the EU takes into account the trucks category as the second road vehicle to downward the emission to zero net in 2050.

The gradual transition to electric vehicles (BEV and PHEV) by 2030 is based on four factors: consumer affection adaptation, governmental policies, the strategy of the traditional original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and corporate companies’ participation [18].

The fundamental path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 is to impose further EV mobility.

It could be noted that the passenger light-duty vehicles (PLDVs) are the most spreader in the transport sector and will increased the penetration of them due to the European measures in both Stated Policies Scenario, and Sustainable Development Scenario [19, 20].


4. Electric transport mode: enabling technologies

There are some barriers to accelerate sales in EV transport. According to the opinion poll, the future EV buyers’ concerns are related to autonomy, fuel cost, charging time, charging infrastructure, safety regarding battery technology [21, 22].

The experts estimate that EVs will be cheaper than those on fuel by 2027, cheaper car manufacturers—such as Dacia—have also entered this market, and charging infrastructures could be accelerated through governmental programs and European governments [23, 24].

Data intelligence still must be part of the infrastructure around the EV [24].

The electric vehicle available infrastructure is an important milestone in the EV integration process. At the same time, the standards in the field along with the infrastructure availability take part from the sustainability of the global emissions reduction challenges.

The battery recharging time is a key point in infrastructure implementation.

Challenges to large spread the EV adoption are charger compatibility, charging infrastructure availability, renewable energy, and climate mitigation, network capacity, vehicle costs, charging behavior, sales outlook, charging station financing, and ownership, prices [25].

Many challenges come from reducing the charging time for battery-powered EVs. These include the amount of available power at the charging station, the cable carrying the power from the charging station to the vehicle, and the charging subsystem within the vehicle itself [25].

From the perspective of charging time, there are currently three standardized charging levels: voltage level 1–120 [V] AC with slow charging time (up to 20 h), voltage level 2 of 240 [V] AC with time 8-h charging (this type of charging is used by domestic consumers, and level 3—fast charging in direct current (40 min charging time of a car battery for a light vehicle) Output Voltage: 200–500 V DC for 60 kW charging station output power [26], Output voltage: 300–1000 V DC for the 120 kW charging station output power.

At the laboratory level, by analyzing and implementing the advanced fluid-based cooling system, researchers increased the current capacity of an electric-vehicle charging-station cable by a factor of four of various EV chargers available worldwide. According to this, the maximum current through charging wires is experiment at 2.4 kA. In this way, the charging time is reduced up to 5 min [27, 28, 29, 30].

The maritime transport reveals the first full-electric container navy: Yara Birkeland from the Yara International, Norway [31].

The 6.7 MWh Leclanché Marine Rack System (MRS) contains a high-energy lithium-ion battery. MRS ensures optimal temperature control through integrated liquid cooling. The MRS system also contains an integrated fire protection system specially designed and certified for maritime requirements. The container ship has a service speed of approximately 6 knots, with a maximum speed of 13 knots. The sizes of the total electric navy are 80 m long, 15 m wide, with 3120 tons weight. The battery system (6.7 MWh) of the Yara Birkeland, manufactured in Switzerland, Europe, and the battery life is at least 10 years (Figure 10).

Figure 10.

The Norway (Yara Birkeland) first autonomous and total electric container ship [32].

For commercial purposes, the vertical take-off and landing Sikorsky Autonomous Research Aircraft (SARA), a full electric helicopter based on the Matrix Technology autonomy system, is a reference for new standards in the field and for logistic development (different kinds of services: routes, and helipads as the infrastructure, and air traffic control) (Figure 11).

Figure 11.

Sikorsky autonomous research aircraft (SARA) [33].

The new type of vehicles will incorporate the new Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology, taking into account the recent DARPA Programmes: Explainable AI (XAI) [34] 2017–2021, and Lifelong Learning Machines (L2M). The XAI program is considered as the 3rd wave of AI systems [34, 35].

The L2M program has in view to create the new Artificial Intelligence types of architectures and Machine Learning systems being capable to learn continuously during execution tasks, not separated as the actual AI architectures [36, 37].


5. Conclusion

The content of this chapter is structured within four Sections. The first section, there is an introduction with justified path towards the electric transport. The second section includes a path to achieve zero net CO2 emissions by 2050, with justified statistics in the field. The third section, the EU Green transition, includes the justified European Union actions. The last section, Electric Transport Mode. Enabling Technologies presents the main types of the Electric Transport Modes with some high-performance examples in the Electric Transport sector, to achieve Net Zero Emissions by 2050.



The project leading to this application has received funding from the Research Fund for Coal and Steel under grant agreement No 899469.


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Written By

Marian Gaiceanu

Submitted: December 19th, 2021 Reviewed: December 21st, 2021 Published: March 30th, 2022