Economic and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Impacts of Alternative Transportation Scenarios for Canadian Cities
Study Released March 05, 2019
CERI Study 178
Transportation is an energy service that is essential for the functioning of social and economic systems. Fuels consumed for transportation — mostly gasoline and diesel — is almost exclusively derived from fossil energy sources. As such the transportation sector is a significant contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While transportation emissions are from dispersed vehicles, most of the GHG emissions from transportation, particularly those from passenger transportation, is concentrated in urban centers. That has led to many cities around the world, including many in Canada, to explore alternative options to reduce GHG emissions from transportation. These options include fuel and vehicle technology switching, improving vehicle fuel economy, changing operating practices, and reducing transportation demand through urban planning. This study assesses GHG emissions, and economic implications of alternative solutions to reduce fuel demand and emissions at the municipal level passenger and freight transportation.
The study is developed around four scenarios that represent alternative transportation options for urban centers. These scenarios provide insights into the implications of the status quo, increasing vehicle efficiency, changing driving behavior, and transportation fuel/technology switching, where urban vehicle stock is transitioned from conventional vehicles to one dominated by battery electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles. The analysis in this study focuses on four Canadian cities, namely: Calgary, Ottawa, Halifax, and Yellowknife.