The long-term transition towards a low-carbon transport sector is a key strategy in Europe. This includes the replacement of fossil fuels, modal shifts towards public transport as well as higher energy efficiency in the transport sector overall. While these energy savings are likely to reduce the direct greenhouse gas emissions of transport, they also require the production of new and different vehicles. This study analyses in detail whether final energy savings in the transport sector also induce savings for material resources from nature if the production of future vehicles is considered. The results for 28 member states in 2030 indicate that energy efficiency in the transport sector leads to lower carbon emissions as well as resource use savings. However, energy-efficient transport sectors can have a significant impact on the demand for metals in Europe. An additional annual demand for 28.4 Mt of metal ores was calculated from the personal transport sector in 2030 alone. The additional metal ores from semiprecious metals (e.g., copper) amount to 12.0 Mt, from precious metals (e.g., gold) to 9.1 Mt and from other metals (e.g., lithium) to 11.7 Mt, with small savings for ferrous metal ores (−4.6 Mt).
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited