En-ROADS User Guide

Transport – Electrification🔗

Increase purchases of new electric cars, trucks, buses, trains, and possibly even ships and airplanes. Using electric motors for transport helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution if the electricity is from low-carbon sources like solar and wind.


  • Investments into electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
  • Research and development into the technologies for vehicles, batteries, and charging.
  • Corporate commitments to sales of electric vehicles.
  • Programs to offer rebates and incentives to electric car purchases.

Big Messages🔗

  • If the world is dependent on coal and natural gas for electric power, the net effect of electrification is only a slight change in emissions and temperature.

  • Switching to electric modes of transport makes the biggest impact for the climate when electrical energy sources are low-carbon.

Key Dynamics🔗

  • Overall efficiency is greater for electrified transport than for internal combustion engines–in general, less fuel is used to power transport with electricity than oil.

  • Oil, in the “Global Sources of Primary Energy” graph, goes down as we electrify transport. At the same time, primary energy demand for coal, renewables, and to a more limited extent, natural gas, all increase to power the rise in electric demand.

Potential Co-Benefits of Encouraging Electrification🔗

  • Improved air quality from fewer internal combustion engines increases healthcare savings and worker productivity.
  • Jobs are created in the manufacturing and sales of electric batteries and engines.

Equity Considerations🔗

  • Although costs are coming down, electric vehicles may not be affordable or available to everyone.
  • Mining of lithium and copper, two necessary ingredients for the batteries used in electric vehicles, can be damaging to precious ecosystems and threaten the well-being of communities near mining sites.1
  • Electric charging station locations may not be accessible or the electric battery range may be insufficient for some situations.

Slider Settings🔗

The main Transport Electrification slider adds a subsidy for new road and rail electric transport (cars, trucks, buses, and trains to be powered by electricity rather than fuels) and ensures that enough charging infrastructure is built for it.

status quo subsidized highly subsidized
Electric transport subsidy and charging infrastructure* 0% to 10% 10% to 25% 25% to 50%

*Subsidy applies to sticker price or purchase cost.

Because it is more challenging technologically to electrify airplanes, boats, and ships, those forms of transport are in a separate “Air and Water” section of sliders in the advanced settings.

Model Structure🔗

The main transport electrification input changes the financial attractiveness of electric vehicles to drive future behavior, as well as the availability of complementary charging infrastructure. The assumptions in the model can change how much a buyer’s attention is on the total cost of ownership of electric vehicles versus fuel-powered vehicles, and cost reductions from learning.

Note that the Baseline Scenario accounts for an increase in electrified transport over the century (see “Electric Share of Total Capital—Transport” graph).

FAQs and Other Resources🔗

Please visit support.climateinteractive.org for additional inquiries and support.


[1]: Lombrana, L. M. (2019, June 11). Saving the Planet With Electric Cars Means Strangling This Desert. Bloomberg Green.

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