The BBC and Capital Public Radio recently turned to the Policy Institute’s Austin Brown and Colin Murphy for insight on what current events may mean for the future of sustainable transportation.
The BBC’s piece, “How can we be sustainable post-Covid 19?”, explored strategies for helping the short-term environmental benefits caused by travel bans and shelter-in-place orders carry forward into the future. Colin emphasized aviation as an important focus area. “There’s still a lot of potential fuel economy that could be gained from redesigning aircraft to be more efficient,” Colin observed. He noted that coupling increased efficiency with increased use of biofuels manufactured from waste organic products could yield substantial greenhouse-gas reductions for the aviation industry.
Capital Public Radio’s piece, “Electric Car Sales Plummet, May Hurt California’s Climate Goals”, focused on how repercussions from the pandemic are affecting the electric-vehicle (EV) market in California—and how that in turn will affect the state’s capacity to meet its climate targets. Austin noted that today’s cratering gas prices remove a key incentive for consumers to go electric. “The cheaper gasoline is, the less of a cost advantage electric vehicles have,” Austin said. Austin explained that with a smaller cost advantage, high upfront investments in EVs take longer to pay off.