DS09 Reykjavík

DS09 Reykjavík Highlights

The Driving Sustainability 09 Reykjavík conference looked at Iceland as a closed system case study that could be applied to other markets. The conclusions reflect information and views shared by speakers and delegates through presentations, panel discussions and discussions off stage.

 

1. Clear Goals: What Replaces Oil?

Sustainable and locally produced biofuels, electricity, methanol/DME and increased efficiency of conventional engines will incrementally decrease dependence on oil and ambitious goals should be set for the year 2020 for “energy independence”. Immediate milestones can be achieved with blending ethanol, methanol and biodiesel with fossil fuel with minimum change to the existing auto fleet. The strength of the existing electric infrastructure and on-going slump in car imports presents an opportunity to accelerate system change and the electrification of ground transport. A combination of energy mediums is key to immediate progress towards an electric future without dependence on oil.

 

Electricity (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric cars) 15%
Biogas (from landfills, sewage and other biomass) 10%
Biodiesel (from rapeseed and waste from fish factories) 5%
Methanol / DME (from C02 and renewable electricity) 5%
Increased efficiency of diesel and gasoline engines 20%
Total 55%

2. Incentives To Create Demand

Harmonized incentives to create demand for low and zero emission vehicles

  • Aggressive system change needs to be supported by financial and other types of incentives. Harmonized incentives system across the Nordic countries, the EU and other regions creates a stronger market for low and zero emissions vehicles and has impact on their production and supply
  • Car taxes need to reflect fuel consumption. Replacing gas guzzlers with more fuel-efficient cars starts saving fuel right away and decreases fuel consumption of a nation’s fleet 10-15 years into the future:
    • Lowering taxes on low consumption/emissions cars and raising taxes on high consumption/emissions cars
    • Zero emission cars to be exempt from all taxes, including VAT, for at least the next 3 years or throughout 2012
  • Temporary removal of fuel taxes on sustainable locally produced biofuels, for at least 5 years
  • Ultra low and zero emissions cars allowed in taxi/bus lanes, and to be exempt from congestion charges and parking cost in cities. Any other incentives applicable by regional or national authorities in their context
  • External costs of burning fossil fuels and heavy traffic need to be taken into the equation. Negative examples include air and noise pollution, congestion, oil dependence and climate change
  • Road taxes that pay for the building and maintenance of roads should be linked to distance driven

3. New Business Models

New business models to lower the initial high capital cost of battery electric cars

  • Battery leasing and other types of cost sharing models between electricity provider and car owner are needed to cover the high capital cost of battery powered cars. This is a feasible option since it is possible to balance the high capital cost with the low running cost of an electric car throughout its lifetime
  • Better Place will subsidize the initial cost of an electric vehicle by the ongoing per-kilometer-driven revenue stream just as mobile handset purchases are subsidized by future per-minute mobile charges. The per-distance fees cover battery pack leasing, charging and swap infrastructure etc.
  • Free public charging stations are already being set up by local authorities to ramp up demand for EV´s. Parking garages, supermarkets, malls, golf courses and movie theaters are other industries that might opt to give away power to draw customers

4. Cooperation Of Stakeholders

An unprecedented cooperation of stakeholders is necessary to create system change towards sustainable mobility. One example is the public-private partnership Biogas west in Western Sweden, the world’s first regional project for promoting biogas as vehicle fuel.

A non-profit cluster with some 30 participants from privately and publicly owned companies, organizations, public and municipal authorities, the project pursues market development within biogas production, distribution and expansion of gas fuelling stations and the use of gas-powered vehicles. In this way the supply of biogas, vehicles and fueling stations goes hand in hand with the number of users.

This cooperation has been a great success, increasing the number of biogas fuelling stations from 7 to 37, and biogas vehicles from 790 to 7500 in the region between 2001 and 2008.

5. Public Campaigns

Successful public campaigns to change travel behaviour have the potential to deliver fuel savings on a similar scale as new technology. Promoting the use of public transport, eco-driving, car sharing, cycling and walking short distances in urban areas all play a huge part in this respect.

Communication and information campaigns through media, websites, newsletters, brochures, conferences & seminars can all be used to disseminate the concept of sustainable mobility among the population to and raise awareness of the individual contribution to a better environment.

The best options for sustainable mobility are:

1. Combining The Best Of Both Worlds

The plug-in hybrid represents the next major advancement towards sustainable mobility. It combines the best of both worlds, operating as an electric car on short drives, and a petrol hybrid on longer travels.

The key for their market success is to find the right balance between battery size (minimize vehicle cost) and driving patterns (maximize fuel savings). According to Toyota and EDF joint research in 2007-2008, 55% of daily trips are less than 10km, and 80% of daily trips are less than 25km. It is therefore no surprise that Toyota is planning to offer a plug-in hybrid with a 20km range in pure electric mode. BYD Auto has already launched a plug-in hybrid on the Chinese market and is expected to enter the US and European markets in the next two years. Volvo is planning a plug-in diesel hybrid in 2012 and Mitsubishi is planning to offer a plug-in hybrid version of the i-MiEV as well as a plug-in hybrid SUV in 2013.

The plug-in hybrid offers unlimited driving range, yet the great majority of all daily trips can be powered by the car’s battery, rechargeable using the domestic electricity system in your home and workplace. The limited electric driving range secures the lowest possible battery cost and facilitates mass introduction of the plug-in hybrid.

2. Biogas

Biogas production solves waste problems and creates a valuable fuel at the same time. Biogas can be produced locally all over the world from waste, upgraded to vehicle and natural gas quality and then distributed to fuelling stations or injected into the natural gas grid. The fantastic advantage with methane or biogas is that it may be used for so many purposes: vehicle fuel, electricity, heating, cooling, feed-stock for petrochemical and oil industry and as energy source for different process industries.

Although biomass is limited, there is great potential in its use as a vehicle fuel, and liquid biogas is expected to dramatically enhance its potential for transport. Initial focus on biogas as vehicle fuel should be for municipal fleets and light duty vehicles, with heavy duty and long haul vehicles using liquid biogas. Biogas is expected to be capable of supplying approximately 20% of the vehicle fleet in Sweden by 2020 and replace 25-35 % of fossil fuels used for road transport in Europe by 2030.

3. Electric Cars

Electric cars have enormous potential for future sustainable mobility and are by many referred to as the car of the future. Electric cars are particularly suitable for shorter journeys and will thus first take off mainly as urban vehicles. For the next few years they will be limited by cost, short range and lack of infrastructure, but new and disruptive business model may have the potential to greatly speed up electrification of transport.

Although high quality competitive electric cars will come to market in limited numbers in 2010, sales will be limited due to their high price and low production output. Real mass production is scheduled to start in 2012 and most agree that the years 2013-2015 will see dramatic increase in the supply of various types of electric cars from all major producers.

Car manufacturers expect 75% of the charging for electric cars to take place overnight in the family garage. Slow charging stations are easy and economical to set up in various locations such as next to workplaces, parking lots and shopping malls. There seems to be an agreement that high voltage fast charging stations have more practical potential than battery swapping stations, although that technology is being closely watched by most players. Both fast charging and battery swapping offer a quick fix for an electric car owner facing a depleting battery and give the service provider an opportunity to sell the electricity at a high premium.

4. Mixing Fuels

Most biofuels can be mixed with conventional diesel and gasoline without any major change in the fuelling infrastructure and thus offer a great potential to slowly replace fossil fuels as biofuels production ramps up. Much the same can be said for methanol, which can be blended with gasoline up to 7%.

5. Lifestyle Changes And Better Planning

Public transport, eco-driving, car-sharing, cycling and walking can contribute greatly to sustainable mobility, although it can be extremely difficult to affect people’s behaviour.

 City planning aimed at minimizing travel distances and allowing for greater use of public transport will also have a big effect in the long term. Examples of such planning are strictly locating new housing and shopping developments where it is easy to use public transport.

Sustainable and locally produced biofuels, electricity, methanol/DME and increased efficiency of conventional engines will incrementally decrease dependence on oil and ambitious goals should be set for the year 2020 for “energy independence”. Immediate milestones can be achieved with blending ethanol, methanol and biodiesel with fossil fuel with minimum change to the existing auto fleet.  The strength of the existing electric infrastructure and on-going slump in car imports presents an opportunity to accelerate system change and the electrification of ground transport.  A combination of energy mediums is key to immediate progress towards an electric future without dependence on oil.

Electricity (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric cars) 
Biogas (from landfills, sewage and other biomass)  
Biodiesel (from rapeseed and waste from fish factories)  
Methanol / DME (from C02 and renewable electricity)  
Increased efficiency of diesel and gasoline engines  

DS09 Reykjavík Speakers

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