The transport transformation as value added

Why it makes economic sense to invest now in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the German transport sector

Study | Press Release

E-fuels: Separating the substance from the hype

How electricity-based synthetic fuels can contribute to the energy transition in transport

Discussion Paper | Press Release

Towards Decarbonising Transport 2023

A Stocktake on Sectoral Ambition in the G20

Study | Press Release

Advantage for pioneers

How market developments and electrification strategies affect car manufacturers’ profit prospects


Leapfrogging to Sustainable Transport in Africa Twelve Insights

Twelve Insights into the Continent’s Sector Transformation

Discussion Paper | Press Release

The Bottom Line of Electric Cars

Comparing the Cost of Ownership of Electric and Combustion-Engine Vehicles

Analysis | News

Powering the Automotive Jobs of the Future

How the electrification of transport and other trends will change jobs in the automotive sector up to 2030 – and what this means for policymakers

Charge, Set, Go!

Electrifying Urban Transport in Germany and Poland

Towards a Climate-Neutral Germany by 2045 (Summary)

How Germany can reach its climate targets before 2050

Publication | Press Release

12 Thesen zur Verkehrswende

  • Transforming the transport sector is crucial for the success of the clean-energy transition.

    Between 1990 and 2015, greenhouse gas emissions in Germany fell significantly in all sectors – with the exception of transport, which saw virtually no change. Without decarbonising transport, Germany cannot achieve its national climate protection goals or uphold its international carbon reduction committments. The challenge is to make transport climate-neutral by 2050.

  • Transforming transport requires decarbonisation and sustainable mobility.

    The decarbonisation of the transport sector not only requires a reduction in energy consumption. Ultimately, all energy must come from renewable sources. A “mobility transition” will ensure that energy demand is reduced without restricting mobility, while an “energy transition in transport” will ensure reliance on climate-neutral sources of energy, such as wind and solar. Intelligent policy measures will be crucial to enabling the overall transformation.  [...]

  • Efficiency is the guiding principle of the transport transformation.

    The transformation of the transport sector involves comprehensive structural change that will influence the everyday lives of millions of people. This structural change should be guided by the principle of economic efficiency. This will ensure that the objectives of transformation are achieved at the lowest possible cost. However, this commitment to efficiency should not become rigid dogma. By way of example, public acceptance for policy measures is [...]

  • In cities, the mobility transition has already begun.

    Privately owned cars are an important means of transport for many people. In larger cities, however, vehicle ownership is already declining in importance. In cities, public transport as well as walking and cycling are melding with car- and ride-sharing services to create “mobility networks”. However, political support is required to encourage this process of change, which can enable cities to regain valuable space and become more attractive to residents and [...]

  • Rural areas also benefit from the mobility transition.

    Outside larger cities, privately owned vehicles are difficult to replace and will therefore remain the primary means of transport for the time being. However, electric vehicles will become increasingly common. New opportunities are gradually arising for commuters to travel to work without a car; public transportation services are becoming increasingly flexible; and pedelec technology is improving.

  • Driverless vehicles are ideal for shared use.

    Digitalisation is inducing wide-reaching changes in the transport sector. Yet whether digitalisation will abet or undermine the objectives of the transport transformation will depend on whether the right policy steps are taken. Digitalisation can only contribute to positive change if it allows the networking of vehicles and infrastructure.

  • Electrification is key to an energy transition in transport.

    The direct use of electricity in battery electric vehicles is not only the most energy-efficient option for road transport, but also the economically most advantageous route to decarbonisation. Falling battery costs and increasing vehicle ranges are making e-vehicles ever-more attractive.

  • Carbon-neutral fuels can supplement wind and solar energy.

    In addition to directly consumed electricity, liquid and gaseous fuels will be needed for the foreseeable future. Yet to be climate-neutral, such fuels must be produced using green electricity. Biofuels can enable significant greenhouse gas reductions, but their production potential is limited. Policymakers must actively shape the phase-out of conventional fuels and encourage adoption of their climate-neutral alternatives.

  • The freight sector needs an improved rail system and climate-neutral roads.

    Two changes are needed to enable climate-friendly freight transport: First, a significantly larger share of freight must be transported by rail, and second, trucks must become more efficient and ultimately carbon-neutral. Because road transport will remain the dominant mode of freight transport for the time being, policymakers must act quickly to create the right regulatory conditions while working to harmonise rules throughout Europe.

  • Power supply and transport benefit from sector coupling.

    The success of the energy transition in transport will depend on the significant expansion of renewables generation. Accordingly, we must accelerate the deployment of renewables. While the electrification of transport will increase demand for electricity, it also brings new benefits: vehicle batteries can augment the flexibility of the power sector by providing energy storage, thus accommodating short-term fluctuations in renewable feed-in. Regulatory incentives [...]

  • Rethinking the development and financing of transport infrastructure.

    Now more than ever, the transformation of the transport sector requires political planning and coordination. A comprehensive roadmap should be adopted by the government to illuminate the way forward and enable positive change. This roadmap should describe the infrastructure needed to increase the share of rail transport in passenger and freight traffic; should elaborate the change required for high EV penetration rates and digital transport solutions; and should [...]

  • The transport transformation can strengthen German industry.

    The replacement of the combustion engine with alternative drive systems represents the largest challenge ever faced by the automobile industry. Due to the importance of this industry for the German economy, adapting to this change will necessarily have macroeconomic impacts. Negative employment effects could jeopardise public acceptance of the transformation. However, clinging to old business models will likely cost even more jobs.

  • The transport transformation will be driven by its benefits to society.

    Beyond its benefits for climate protection, which is a long-term challenge, the transformation of the transport sector will have a number of benefits for individuals and society that will be felt over the short and medium term – including improved air quality, less noise pollution, and a higher quality of life in urban areas. If the transformation of the transport sector is tackled as a collective societal endeavor, these supplementary benefits will help to [...]


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