Electric and hybrid vehicles make transport green 

By Troels Werner Christensen, 19. September 2007

15 per cent of Danish CO2 emissions come from cars. A brand new fleet of hybrid and electric cars could more than halve emissions at a stroke. If the electricity were generated by wind turbines, motorists could drive into the future with a clear conscience.

The Danes loves their cars and use them frequently. But more than two million cars and around 35 billion kilometres per year account for a large part of the CO2 emissions in the national account (Source: Statistics Denmark).

In 2005 Denmark emitted a total of 49 millions tonnes of CO2; transport was responsible for about 13 million tonnes, and of these, cars accounted for seven million tonnes or 55 per cent of the transport sector’s total emissions. (Source: The Danish Energy Authority and Denmark’s Road Safety and Transport Agency).

Car transport is the bad guy

Transportation and especially private motoring are the ‘bad guys’ in the Danish climate accounts. Private households, power plants and companies have succeeded in saving energy, changing over to less polluting technologies and reducing their CO2 emissions.

But quite the opposite has occurred in the transport sector, which apart from cars includes buses, vans, lorries, cargo ships, trains, and domestic flights. In this sector energy consumption is exploding and CO2 emissions are out of control. But it does not have to be that way.

Benefit for the klimate

Not only will the climate benefit by the advantages of the electric and hybrid cars, they also match the Danish electricity system comprising more and more windmills.

For instance, if we look at the electricity system in Western Denmark, as it is most likely to be in 2025, the windmills will be able to generate more electricity in 70 days per year than we actually need.

This means that our future electric and hybrid cars can function as one gigantic rechargeable bat-tery and as a buffer to the environmentally friendly (eco-friendly) electricity. At the same time an increasing amount of renewable energy will lead to a further reduction of CO2 emission from elec-tricity and hybrid cars.

However, it requires a technology which will enable us to charge the cars’ batteries automatically, when the wind is blowing and the remaining electricity consumption is low.

Documents

  • Read more about electric and hybrid vehicles in EnergyAgenda 6
  • EnergyAgenda 6
     pdf, 1394 kb

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