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Rocky Mountain Institute Launches New Analysis of Electric Autonomous Mobility in China, India and USA

New report evaluates what China, India, and the United States can learn from each other on mobility ecosystems

Boulder, CO – August 22, 2019

Today, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) released a report which evaluates how mobility ecosystems are evolving in three fast changing markets: China, India, and the United States. By looking at how the role of policy, economics, infrastructure, and behavioral norms all shape the mobility transformations in these three countries, this report provides insights into how society can be proactive at shaping the future of mobility.

According to the Driving a Shared, Electric, Autonomous Mobility report, ensuring that rides in autonomous vehicles are both electrified and pooled can mitigate congestion and pollution issues in these countries’ cities and provide reliable, low-cost mobility for a rapidly urbanizing society. The report found that if done in isolation of the needs of the electricity system, mass adoption of EVs could result in significant added costs. These costs could easily be avoided with intelligent and forward-looking planning processes.

“Looking at the changing markets in China, India, and the U.S will help inform us in enacting our goal of proactively shaping the future of Mobility,” said Garrett Fitzgerald, manager at Rocky Mountain Institute.

By focusing on China, India, and the US, the report focused on countries that are aspiring or current leaders in vehicle manufacturing and intelligent mobility technologies. Since each of these countries is at a different stage of development in these emerging technologies, they have the opportunity to share learnings and adapt each other’s frameworks to accelerate the global mobility transition.

The report proposed recommendations regarding electric vehicles, shared mobility, autonomous vehicles, and technology integration & co-development. Additional recommendations included:

  • Adopting a uniform, national EV-sales mandate
  • Focusing finite EV subsidies on high-utilization vehicles
  • Establishing uniform, national guidelines around AV testing
  • Encouraging pooling and electrification of ride-hailing through tiered taxes and incentives

Vehicle electrification addresses pollution issues (noise, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide) and can enable a more flexible electric grid that integrates renewables, but electrifying vehicles creates a need for new charging infrastructure and does not help lessen congestion on its own. Autonomous vehicle technology has the long-term potential to truly disrupt the current mobility paradigm—but the result of that disruption may not benefit society equally and in fact could result in less equitable access, more congestion, and more pollution. Ensuring that rides in autonomous vehicles are both electrified and pooled can mitigate these congestion and pollution issues and provide reliable, low-cost mobility for a rapidly urbanizing society.

“Understanding how these countries like China and India are playing roles in shaping our global mobility future is the first step to ensuring we get the best mobility future possible,” added Richard Li, associate at Rocky Mountain Institute.

About Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. In 2014, RMI merged with Carbon War Room (CWR), whose business-led market interventions advance a low-carbon economy. The combined organization has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.