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McKinsey: World Could Cut Auto Emissions in Half by 2030

By Stacy Feldman

Apr 13, 2009

The number of cars on the roads worldwide will explode between now and 2030, nearly doubling from 730 million to more than 1.3 billion.

Talk about a carbon emissions nightmare in the making. But does it have to be?

According to a recent McKinsey report, if we invest now in the right technology and transportation habits, the world could actually halt the rise in CO2 emissions from passenger cars by 2020 and, by 2030, see emission levels that are 47 percent (2.2 gigatons) lower than they would be under business as usual, even with the jump in the total number of vehicles.

A large portion of the cuts could be achieved from proven solutions that are available today, namely

  • replacing old gas-guzzlers with more fuel-efficient vehicles;
  • improving road and traffic infrastructure;
  • and stimulating greater use of public transport and eco-friendly driving habits.


In the report , the authors evaluated 25 discreet abatement measures across five regions -- North America, Europe (including Russia), Japan and China -- calculating their costs and capacity for cutting emissions.

They also analyzed three scenarios for the global auto sector, each representing a different approach for assembling a low-carbon fleet. They are:

  • Predominantly hybrid and electric vehicles, relying on the availablity of low-carbon electricity (49 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 relative to no action)
  • Primarily internal combustion engine, or ICE, vehicles optimized for high fuel-efficiency (42 percent reduction)
  • Mixture of hybrid, electric and optimized ICE vehicles (47 percent reduction)


You can find the summaries of all three on pages 5 through 8 of the report. The researchers concentrated on the third one, the mixed-technology scenario, because

"it envisions a moderately paced transition away from ICEs and depends less on improvements to the carbon intensity of the energy supply."

The results?

Under the mixed-technology scenario, a combo of second-gen biofuels, traffic flow, shifts to public transportation and eco-driving measures (driving at a steady speed and accelerating and decelerating gradually) could account for more than 50 percent of abatement potential by 2020.

The rest of that -- slightly below 50 percent -- could come from technical improvements to the fuel efficiency of cars.

By 2030, efficiency improvements could account for a whopping 72 percent of the CO2 reduction potential.

What about costs?

We're not talking peanuts here.

If the industry pursues a range of technologies (internal combustion, hybrid gasoline-electric and fully electric), then an "outstandingly large" annual incremental investment of over $230 billion in 2030 would be required, McKinsey says.

That amount would represent some 14 percent of total expected industry spending on passenger vehicles that year. Per vehicle, we're looking at $2,550 over the average car today.

Implementing such fuel efficiency measures in the passenger vehicle sector would require greater "capital intensity" than just about any other sector -- nine times that of the power sector, three times that of the building sector.

But (and this is a big but): The investments would yield major, much-needed savings for a sputtering auto sector in two decades' time.

Abatement of CO2 emissions in the automotive sector offers a positive net economic benefit of some 27 euros (~$36) per-tonne CO2e in 2030, substantially more per tonne than abatement in most sectors, including electric power, iron and steel, chemicals and agriculture.

I totally agree that in the

I totally agree that in the next few years the car's emissions will basically destroy the air but what can we do about it when our governments have to make money out of fuel...They would have developed a good system to run cars with energy so far but then sun's energy is free so there is no profit out of it.

New innovation in eco driving

its great to to cut the car emmissions in half for now its get very polluted nowadays. the invention of EVs and hybrids are a big help in the car industry and to environment. so I hope that mckinsey's plan would do justice.

A New invention makes Eco Driving very easy.

A New invention makes Eco Driving very easy.

Clearwater, Fla. April 14, 2009 -- GREEN TECHNOLOGY MFG manufactures the long awaited Moment-O-Meter, a consumer friendly device that helps to reduce fuel consumption (patent # 7,411,140).

"It may take ten years for car manufacturers to create and redesign higher fuel efficient cars, fifteen years to find and exploit fuel fossil reserves in the US and maybe twenty more years to develop safe nuclear energy providing 50% of our electricity," said the inventor, Tom Delor.

It takes only a few seconds to stick Moment-O-Meter to your windshield and plug it in your cigarette lighter to upgrade your car to a fuel efficient car. "Moment-O-Meter was developed and tested during the last three years, and we now manufacture it in Clearwater, Florida," added Delor, a retired ex-aeronautical engineer who co-invented this device to help his school teacher daughter to save gas. "It all started with my daughter and I'm always looking for a good reason to spend some time in my workshop," added Delor.
As Speed-O-Meter indicates the speed of a vehicle, Moment-O-Meter indicates its inherent momentum allowing users to coast by, moving their car effortlessly by force of the inertial mass generated. Green light indicates you can coast, red light indicates you need to use fuel to maintain the car's speed. It's like a personal trainer telling you what to do.
"Every driver can take advantage of their car's momentum to drastically increase their fuel efficiency if they are shown how," the inventor said. "You will save 20% to 50% gas the very first time you use it. To make it work for everyone, it had to be simple and visual. Moment-O-Meter is very simple; just react to the device's lights to save gas. I personally save 50% but my wife saves only 32% ... It still depends on the driver's skills, but improvement is expected as driving efficiently will become second nature," concluded Delor.
GREEN TECHNOLOGY MFG, located in Clearwater, Florida, is the developer and manufacturer of this long awaited new instrument for cars. The device uses simple visual cues to allow drivers to take advantage of the moving vehicle's momentum. It really does not matter if the vehicle uses gas, ethanol, or electricity or if the vehicle is a small or an eighteen wheelers. Retired ex-aeronautical engineer Tom Delor is the co-inventor, and patent attorney John Rizvi from Fort Lauderdale, Florida said: "When Tom presented me his work, I was skeptical because it was utterly simple and logical, thus not new. It took thousands of years to put wheels on our luggage because nobody thought about it." Comparatively, nobody thought about showing the momentum of a moving vehicle until now, replied Delor. With the energy crisis, necessity became the mother of all inventions and the United States Patent Office by issuing the patent confirmed that Moment-O-Meter is a genuine new invention.
More information:

Tom Delor

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