The Adoption of Electric Vehicles in Qatar Can Contribute to Net Carbon Emission Reduction but Requires Strong Government Incentives
Kutty, Adeeb A.
Onat, Nuri C.
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Electric mobility is at the forefront of innovation. Cutting down greenhouse gases when low-carbon electricity sources are maintained has answered the concerns of skeptics when switching to electric mobility. This paper presents a life-cycle-based comparative study between the electric and conventional gasoline vehicles with respect to their environmental performance, taking the case of Qatar. A well-to-wheel life cycle assessment is used to understand the carbon footprint associated with the use of alternative mobility when powered by non-renewable energy sources such as natural gas for electricity production. A survey was also conducted to evaluate the economic and practical feasibility of the use of electric vehicles in Qatar. The analysis showed that electric vehicles (EVs) have passed conventional gasoline vehicles with a minimum difference between them of 12,000 gCO2eq/100 km traveled. This difference can roughly accommodate two additional subcompact electric vehicles on the roads of Qatar. Even though Qatar is producing all of its electricity from natural gas, EVs are still producing much less carbon footprint into the atmosphere with the results showing that almost identical alternatives produce triple the amount of GHG emissions. The results of the survey showed that, despite promising results shown in switching to carbon-neutral mobility solutions, a lack of willingness prevails within the State of Qatar to incline towards electric mobility among users. This implies that Qatar has to spend a lot of time and resources to achieve its ambitious goal to decarbonize mobility on roads with 10% electric vehicles by 2030. This research highlights the need for more practical incentives and generous subsidies by the government of Qatar on e-mobility solutions to switch the transportation system into an eco-friendly one.