Path to Zero
Path to Zero
5.13 - Is Electrification the Best Solution to Decarbonize the Transportation Sector? With Rachel Muncrief of the International Council on Clean Transportation

In this episode recorded from Climate Week in New York City, Tucker talks to the head of an international organization whose mission is to eliminate the health impacts from the global transportation sector. Dr. Rachel Muncrief is the Acting Executive Director of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).

The ICCT focuses on technical work to encourage solid policymaking at all levels of government and making sure that the newest and cleanest technologies are coming into fleets. Dr. Muncrief is a chemical engineer with more than 20 years of experience working to mitigate the health and climate impacts from the transportation sector.

Some highlights of what Tucker and Dr. Muncrief discuss in this episode:

  • Why the ICCT sees electrification as the best solution for the on-road sector cars, vans, buses and even heavy-duty trucks have the possibility of electrification.
  • With shipping and aviation, clean fuels will play a much larger role.
  • Why it’s Important to look at the feedstocks for renewable fuels and climate impacts. Some of those fuels are carbon neutral. However, Muncrief says some renewable fuels are just as bad as fossil fuels for warming the climate.
  • With aviation in the future, the ICCT is looking into the possibility of e-fuels, which use clean electricity to make a drop-in fuel that is an alternative to kerosene.
  • What’s happening overseas in the development of renewable fuels, particularly in Europe where countries are mandating certain blends in feedstocks.
  • Why the ICCT believes in the power of regulation to make sure there is certainty that fuels are going to get cleaner and the environmental impact will go down.
  • Why electric vehicles powered by renewable electricity is the only technology that has the potential to get the reductions needed that are aligned with the Paris climate targets.
  • Why diesel NOx Emissions remain an issue today despite improving technology to reduce tail pipe emissions.
  • How the ICCT believes that all vehicles on the road will be electric. But it will take some time and in the interim, we need to make sure all internal combustion engines be as clean as possible.
  • The ICCT’s focus on encouraging regulation for cleaner cars and trucks through 2032, which would be some of the biggest regulations we’ve ever seen to drive electrification in those segments.