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A Vision for Sustainable Transportation

NREL research, development, and deployment accelerates the process of bringing sustainable transportation technologies to market.

Line graph illustrating three pathways to reduce transportation energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with “energy consumption of vehicles” along the y-axis (ranging from 0 to 2.0 kWh/km) and “carbon intensity of energy source” along the x-axis (ranging from 450 to 0 g CO2/kWh). A solid bottom line (the goal line) curves up from the lower left (at 0.1 kWh/km and 425 g CO2/kWh) to  the upper right (at 2.0 kWh/km and 0 g CO2/kWh) and represents the 2050 GHG emissions target of an 80% reduction from 2005 GHG levels. Three lines originating at the circle representing the typical car today (at 1.5 kWh/km and 390 g CO2/kWh) illustrate the significant reductions in GHGs and energy consumption that might be realized by 2050 through the widespread deployment of biofuel (dashed line, meets goal line at 0.62 kWh/km and 50 g CO2/kWh), hydrogen fuel cell (solid line, meets goal line at 0.38 kWh/km and 100 g CO2/kWh), and electric (dotted line, meets goal line at 0.22 kWh/km and 170 g CO2/kWh) vehicle technologies.

Multiple pathways will be required to reach energy-efficiency and GHG-reduction targets. Source: NREL

NREL Sustainable Transportation RD&D Goals

  • Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector to meet a 2050 goal of 80% below 2005 levels

  • Diversifying transportation energy sources to reduce petroleum consumption and promote U.S. energy security.