Ford researchers: global light-duty CO2 regulatory targets broadly consistent with 450 ppm stabilization
15 May 2014
An analysis by researchers at Ford Motor Company Research and Advanced Engineering in Dearborn and Ford Forschungszentrum in Germany concludes that existing global light-duty vehicle CO2 regulations through 2025 are broadly consistent with the light-duty vehicle (LDV) sector contributing to stabilizing CO2 at an atmospheric concentration of approximately 450 ppm—a target often proposed in the literature as preventing dangerous climate change. Their paper is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
In the study, the Ford team derived regional CO2 targets for new LDVs while still providing an integrated view of the global LDV fleet—a perspective critical to the planning needs for global automotive firms. The teams calls the time-varying LDV targets “CO2 glide paths”.
In the study, the teams considers only CO2—not CO2eq. Further, the study compares 450 ppm LDV CO2 glide paths derived using only vehicle efficiency improvements against those derived using both vehicle and fuel actions.
They developed the LDV CO2 glide paths using a modified version of the Sustainable Mobility Project (SMP) model developed by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The SMP model calculates 2000−2050 well-to-wheels (WTW) transportation sector CO2 emissions in 11 world regions for a number of vehicle types.
The Ford team updated the SMP model with historical data for 2000, 2005, and 2010, and extended the model to calculate the total CO2 emissions (tonnes) and the TTW (tank-to-wheel) emission rate (g CO2/km) for the new vehicle fleet.
The researchers used a four-step process in their study:
Determining the relative change in global, all-sector CO2 emissions required for CO2 stabilization at 450 ppm. They converted from an absolute amount to scale relative to 2000. They assumed that all sectors of the economy follow the same proportional reduction.
They then applied the relative scale to the global LDV fleet WTW (well-to-wheels) CO2 emissions of approximately 3 GtCO2/yr in the year 2014 to get the absolute (Gt CO2/yr) emissions. They refer to these emission trajectories as the global CO2 caps.
To achieve 450 ppm, WTW LDV CO2 emissions decrease 25% from 2000 and 34% between 2010 and 2050.
Holding vehicle efficiencies, powertrain shares and fuel characteristics constant at 2010 levels, they then considered the effect of only vehicle actions. They calculated the TTW vehicle efficiency improvements required for the new vehicle fleet such that the global WTW LDV CO2 cap is met.
They reduced the new fleet fuel consumption (FC) rates by the same proportion in each region, relative to their own starting points. The resulting full fleet WTW fossil CO2 emissions in each region become the regional CO2 caps.
In the final step, they added fuel actions to reduce CO2 (e.g., biofuels, carbon intensity) and updated input variables from 2010 levels to reflect regional future conditions. The variables included biofuel availability, WTT fuel carbon intensity, and powertrain characteristics and mix, with unique assumptions for each region.
Results. When only vehicle efficiency actions are considered (Step 3), the required FC reductions are 4−5%/year. By 2050, all regions have reduced new vehicle fuel consumption by 83% relative to 2010 yielding average new vehicle TTW emission targets in 2050 ranging from 24 g CO2/km in Latin America to 32 g CO2/km in North America.
Broadly, the Ford team found that new light-duty vehicle fuel economy and CO2 regulations in the US through 2025 and in the EU through 2020 are consistent with the CO2 glide paths. For the EU, the glide path is at the upper end of the discussed 2025 EU range of 68–78 g CO2/km. While the proposed China regulation for 2020 is more stringent than the glide path, the 2017 Brazil regulation is less stringent.
Biofuel plays a large role in North America, enabling the relaxation of the near-term (2015−2025) vehicle CO2 reduction task from 4.5 to 5% YOY to 3.5% YOY. The overall ethanol volume blend share in the gasoline/ethanol fuel pool grows from 14% (10% by energy) in 2020 to 30% (22% energy basis) in 2030. The long-term biofuel blend share is 66% by volume (56% by energy) in 2050.
With fuel actions the NA glide path is reasonably consistent with the US regulations for fuel economy and vehicle CO2 emissions.
Similarly, with the addition of fuel actions, the OECD Europe glide paths are relaxed from 4.5-5% YOY to 4.25% YOY in the near-term. The resulting ethanol blend shares are 5% by energy in 2020 (8% by volume), 10% by energy in 2030 and 24% blend share by energy (32% by volume) in 2050.
The biodiesel blend share is restricted to 7% by energy through 2020, consistent with regulations. Then both the biodiesel (FAME) blend share and share of drop-in renewable diesel like BTL begin to increase, reaching 75% blend share (energy-based) in 2050.
The industry-average OECD Europe CO2 glide path is consistent with European Union regulations.
With fuel actions, the China glide path is relaxed from 4.5 to 5% YOY to 3.5% YOY in the near-term. Ethanol use results in a 4% blend share by energy (6% by volume) in 2020, 11% (16%) in 2030, and 67% blend share (76%) in 2050.
Chinese regulations are less stringent than the glide path (153 g CO2/km) in 2015, but in 2020 the regulation overachieves the glide path target of 128 g CO2/km. The combined vehicle and fuel actions reduce WTW CO2 by 42% between 2010 and 2050.
Adding fuel actions in Latin America relaxes the near-term (2015−2025) vehicle CO2 reduction task to 3% YOY. The ethanol blend share in 2010 is 27% (energy-based; 36% by volume). This is consistent with Brazilian Otto-cycle fuel sales (gasohol E20-E25 and hydrous ethanol E100) which have been 40−50% ethanol by volume since 2007.
By 2020 the ethanol share increases to 32% by energy (41% by volume) and reaches a maximum of 94% by energy (96% by volume) in 2050. Most countries in Latin America do not have CO2 regulations. Brazil recently proposed passenger vehicle CO2 emissions regulations of 135 g CO2/km by 2017,57 considerably less stringent than the 450 ppm glide path result of 126 g CO2/km in 2015. Combined vehicle and fuel actions reduce LDV WTW CO2 by 52% between 2010 and 2050 in Latin America.
The vehicle glide path targets for 450 ppm beyond 2025 are very challenging for internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). … The near- and mid-term glide paths over the next 5−15 years could probably be met using improvements to existing technologies. The long-term glide path targets beyond 2025 imply the need for a substantial penetration of alternative vehicle/fuel technologies.
We frame the glide paths in terms of tank-to-wheels (TTW) CO2 targets for internal combustion engine vehicles, recognizing their likely future dominance over the next 5−15 years and to facilitate comparison with regulations.… Alternative vehicle/fuel technologies which may contribute in the future include plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) running on low-CO2 electricity, low-CO2 hydrogen, or low- CO2 liquid hydrocarbon fuels.
The glide paths do not prescribe the powertrain/technology shares, but provide the required CO2 targets. Future vehicle/fuel choices will be driven by economic and policy considerations which are beyond the scope of the present analysis.—Winkler et al.
Sandra L. Winkler, Timothy J. Wallington, Heiko Maas, and Heinz Hass (2014) “Light-Duty Vehicle CO2 Targets Consistent with 450 ppm CO2 Stabilization,” Environmental Science & Technology doi: 10.1021/es405651p
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