Thursday, September 24, 2015

"Avoid, Shift, Improve" - Decarbonizing Quebec’s Transportation Sector

Energy policy 2016-2025 - Decarbonization of Road Transport (73 page pdf, Gouvernement du Québec Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles, 2015)

Today we review a background paper prepared by the Quebec Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, outlining plans to reduce the emission of carbon emissions by the transportation sector in that province, 76% of which comes from road transport. Recognizing that 99% of the province’s energy is produced from renewable energy sources, principally hydro, the main emphasis of the Avoid, Shift, and Improve plan, is on reducing travel in privately owned vehicles, shifting to use of a 95% electrified public transit and improving engine efficiency and increase the use of non carbon biofuels, propane and natural gas. Encouragement to convert to hybrid or totally electric vehicles (18% or 1.2 million by 2020 from under 6,000 today), and make more use of shared cars with an eye toward driverless or autonomous cars in the future that make fewer demands on the road infrastructure.

  transit quebec  

Key Quotes :

“in 2011, the road, air, maritime, rail and off-highway transportation sector generated 36 MT of CO2 equivalent, i.e. 44% of total emissions in Québec. Road transport alone accounted for 76% of transportation-related GHG emissions, i.e. 34% of total emissions.”

“The 2011-2020 Action Plan for Electric Vehicles…proposes ambitious targets including sales of hybrid or electric vehicles equivalent to 25% of annual new light-duty vehicle sales by 2020…in 2030, 1.2 million electric vehicles will operate on Québec roads (18% of registered light-duty vehicles), which will reduce gasoline consumption by 1.5 billion litres and GHG emissions by 3.5 million tonnes.” “the 158 000 heavy-duty road vehicles—including buses—represent a small proportion of the vehicles registered in Québec (roughly 2.6%), they consume nearly one-third of the petroleum products used for road transportation, mainly diesel. They account for one-third of GHG emissions and 80% of the particulate emissions attributable to the sector”

Avoid-Shift Improve Approach:

Avoid This component comprises initiatives to avoid or reduce passenger travel and to shorten travel distances….  

Shift This component refers essentially to the transition from solitary use of a privately-owned motor vehicles to public transit or carpooling services..

 Improve 1) the enhancement of the energy efficiency of existing motor vehicles; 2) the use of alternative fuels with lower carbon dioxide footprints, in particular biofuels and natural gas; 3) the replacement or assistance of an internal combustion engine powered by a battery or a fuel cell (hydrogen).”

“nearly twice as many Quebecers appear to rely on bicycles for recreational purposes or travel than the North American average…the number of bicycle trips rose by 33% in Montréal’s central neighbourhoods between 2008 and 2013.”

“Fully autonomous vehicles are being tested and certain of their features will soon be incorporated into mass-production vehicles. Google announced the launching, in December 2014, of its autonomous car ready for testing on North American roads starting in 2015. Moreover, numerous automakers such as Audi, Toyota, Nissan, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz are carrying out autonomous car projects.”

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