Recent technological developments and past technology transitions suggest that the world
could be on the verge of a profound shift in transportation technology. The return of the electric
car and its adoption, like that of the motor vehicle in place of horses in early 20th century,
could cut oil consumption substantially in the coming decades. Our analysis suggests that oil
as the main fuel for transportation could have a much shorter life span left than commonly
assumed. In the fast adoption scenario, oil prices could converge to the level of coal prices,
about $15 per barrel in 2015 prices by the early 2040s. In this possible future, oil could become
the new coal.
Mr. Nicolas Arregui, Ms. Ruo Chen, Mr. Christian H Ebeke, Jan-Martin Frie, Mr. Daniel Garcia-Macia, Ms. Dora M Iakova, Andreas Jobst, Louise Rabier, Mr. James Roaf, Ms. Anna Shabunina, and Mr. Sebastian Weber
itself is unlikely to be an effective mechanism in bringing forward low-carbon innovation and investment in multiple areas, such as carbon capture and storage technology (CCS), energy efficiency in buildings, low-carbon heat, and electricvehicle charging infrastructure.
The risk of “carbon leakage” whereby emissions intensive production shifts from higher- to lower-taxed jurisdictions, is typically more significant in industry, agriculture, and international transport, compared to sectors that are harder to outsource, such as domestic transport and residential
The United States has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050, meet sectoral objectives (e.g., for carbon free power, electric vehicles) and encourage greater mitigation among large emitting countries and of international transportation emissions. Fiscal policies at the national, sectoral, and international level could play a critical role in implementing these objectives, along with investment, regulatory, and technology policies. Fiscal instruments are cost-effective, can enhance political acceptability, and do not worsen, or could help alleviate, budgetary pressures. Domestically, a fiscal policy package could contain a mix of economy-wide carb