Reports & Papers

29 Items

A prototype Tesla Semi truck at Tesla HQ in California, April 22, 2019.

Flickr/Steve Jurveston

Paper - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

Environmental Implications and Policy Challenges for Bringing Long-Haul Electric Trucks into China: The Case of the Tesla Semi

    Author:
  • Jonathan M. Moch
| July 2019

The Tesla Semi is a battery powered electric long haul truck currently in the prototype phase. Since cost and technological barriers have prevented electric vehicles from making significant inroads into the market for long haul trucks, the announcement of the Tesla Semi marks one of the first major attempts to bring electrification to on-road long haul freight transport. China, as the world’s largest carbon emitter, is an important market for truck electrification. China has a bourgeoning passenger electric vehicle market but, like the rest of the world, is reliant on heavily polluting diesel trucks for on-road freight transport. 

This paper addresses two main questions:

  1. What are the potential impacts on carbon emissions of electric long haul trucks in China? 
  2. What are the barriers to the adoption of electric long haul trucks in China? 

A man prepares to charge his electric-powered vehicle parked at a shopping mall in Beijing, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017.

AP Photo/Andy Wong

Paper - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

The Role of Electric Vehicles in Decarbonizing China’s Transportation Sector

| April 2019

This paper focuses on the deep decarbonization of the transportation sector. The first part of the paper provides an assessment of China’s efforts to stimulate the rapid deployment of electric vehicles. The second part analyzes the CO2 equivalent reductions from a 20% electric vehicle deployment scenario. It concludes that under most assumptions, emissions will be reduced, but the total reduction will be less than many people believe due to the carbon intensity of battery manufacturing.

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

kees torn/Flickr

Paper - National Bureau of Asian Research

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

This essay examines Russia’s growing role in Asia’s energy markets, assesses the implications for the U.S., and examines the claim that closer Sino-Russian energy ties are adding new incentives for a broader strategic alignment.

A satellite view of the Gansu Dunhuang Solar Park, a photovoltaic power station under construction in Gansu Provence, as seen on June 9, 2018.

DigitalGlobe, CNES/Airbus, Google Earth, used with permission

Report - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy

| September 2018

The Belfer Center’s Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Center for Science, Technology, and Education Policy at Tsinghua University held the fifth annual Tsinghua-Harvard Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy. This event brought together leading experts on climate and energy from academic, business, and government communities in both the United States and China. This year’s workshop focused on electricity systems and renewable energy penetration.

A Tesla Model 3 charges using a Mobile Charger 2.0, 29 July 2017.

Steve Jurvetson

Paper - Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center

Charging the Future

| September 2018

Electric vehicles (EVs) have advanced significantly this decade, owing in part to decreasing battery costs. Yet EVs remain more costly than gasoline fueled vehicles over their useful life. This paper analyzes the additional advances that will be needed, if electric vehicles are to significantly penetrate the passenger vehicle fleet.

Report

Foundations of Decarbonization in China: A Post-2030 Perspective

| July 2017

The Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy is the fourth annual joint workshop between the Harvard Kennedy School’s Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Center for Science, Technology, and Education Policy at Tsinghua University. The workshop convened leading experts on climate and energy from the United States and China at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, on June 1-2, 2017.

The workshop was divided into five sessions. The first two sessions focused on the scope of the climate problem and the options for addressing it. The following three sessions explored specific options: renewable energy, nuclear power, and air pollution regulation.

Report

Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy

The Harvard-Tsinghua Workshop on Low-Carbon Development and Public Policy is the third annual joint workshop between the Harvard Kennedy School’s Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Sustainability Science Program and the Center for Science, Technology, and Education Policy at Tsinghua University. The workshop convened prominent members of the academic and policy communities from China and the United States at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, on June 2-3, 2016.

The three closed sessions were on: 1) Market Mechanisms to Reduce Carbon Emissions, 2) Role of Local Government in Low-Carbon Development, and 3) Energy Technology Innovation in the Transportation Sector.

Report - Energy Technology Innovation Policy Project, Belfer Center

The Future of Low-Carbon Road Transport: What Role for Second-Generation Biofuels?

| June 2015

The promise, prospects, and public policy trade-offs related to second-generation biofuels in road transport were addressed in an executive session convened at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, on April 7 and 8, 2015. The workshop brought together twenty-eight of the world's leading experts from the fields of policy, science, and business for an intensive two-day session. This report is a summary of the main points and issues raised over the two days. It has been reviewed by all the participants. The summary is intended to reflect the breadth of the discussion, rather than to suggest any form of overall consensus among the participants.

Discussion Paper

Leapfrogging or Stalling Out? Electric Vehicles in China

| May 2014

China has ambitious goals for developing and deploying electric vehicles (EV). The stated intention is to “leapfrog” the auto industries of other countries and seize the emerging EV market. Since 2009, policies have included generous subsidies for consumers in certain locations, as well as strong pressure on local governments to purchase EVs. Yet four years into the program, progress has fallen far short of the intended targets. China has only about 40,000 EVs on the road, of which roughly 80% are public fleet vehicles such as buses and sanitation vehicles.

Discussion Paper - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Can New Market Mechanisms Mobilize Emissions Reductions from the Private Sector?

    Author:
  • Axel Michaelowa
| November 2012

Negotiators, business leaders, and others concerned with climate change are attempting to develop market mechanisms that expand and improve upon those provided by the Kyoto Protocol. These "new market mechanisms" might be incorporated into a new international arrangement called for at COP-17 in Durban, South Africa. Dr. Michaelowa explores the paths forward.