New opportunities and constraints emerging for carbon-neutral individual transport

Georg Brasseur, Johannes Lercher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


The extent and volume of the world's dependence on fossil fuels is frequently overlooked when scenarios are drafted on how current energy consumption can be transformed in a carbon-neutral and sustainable way. The key to a sustainable energy transition lies in the collection of energy from the inevitably volatile solar radiation as well as from wind and hydropower. Since electricity, along with heat, is the form in which the energy can be made available, electromobility fits well into this scenario. However, it is also shown that not only is the majority of electricity generated today from fossil carbon resources, but in particular, 84 % of the primary energy required globally is derived from these carbon sources. To generate, convert, and distribute these amounts of energy in a sustainable way requires a complex global strategy. The high population density of Europe makes it a major challenge to compensate locally for the current import of energy sources using wind and solar energy. In this article a global distribution of power generation is proposed that considers both the impact of sustainable energy extraction on land and water resources as well as the global balance of wealth. Transportation of extracted electrical energy will require its storage in chemical bonds. For achieving carbon-neutral mobility, approaches are shown that point both to regulation of access to electricity as well as to new concepts of transformation, i.e., it is discussed under which boundary conditions carbon-neutral individual transport is possible.
Translated title of the contributionMöglichkeiten und Grenzen eines kohlenstoffneutralen Individualverkehrs
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication42nd International Vienna Motor Symposium 2021
Place of PublicationWien
PublisherÖsterreichischer Verein für Kraftfahrzeugtechnik
Number of pages19
Volume42nd International Vienna Motor Symposium, 29 - 30 April 2021
ISBN (Print)978-3-9504969-0-1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2021

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