The transport sector is responsible for 24% of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion globally, with road transport accounting for almost three-fourths of total transport emissions in 2018. Plans to reduce these emissions increasingly rely on large-scale transportation electrification. In parallel, the energy sector is integrating renewable generation and energy storage systems at exponential rates. 

Electric vehicles (EVs) present an opportunity to contribute to both transportation and energy transformations through vehicle-grid integration solutions, more equitable access to zero-emission fuels and expanded options for sustainable transit and shared mobility. 

WRI’s Electric Mobility team engages in four areas of the transportation electrification ecosystem:

1. Vehicle-Grid Integration

Mass EV adoption will come with significant new power demand. Ensuring the electricity generation mix used for EV charging is clean will be crucial to help reach decarbonization goals. WRI works with cities and utilities to optimize EV charging strategies that limit the impact of charging on grid infrastructure and align with growing the renewable energy mix.

2. Decarbonization Pathways and Vehicle Standards

As the transportation sector decarbonizes, policymakers need to know when — and at what pace — EVs and other zero-emission technologies can replace conventional vehicle fleets. To help support policymakers, WRI leverages economic analyses and modeling studies to assess the long-term impact of different EV adoption scenarios. WRI helped inform programs like greenhouse gas and efficiency standards for vehicles, zero-emission vehicle standards, low-carbon fuel standards and purchase incentives.

3. Fleet Electrification 

Electrifying shared fleets, especially bus fleets, decreases emissions, supports communities and creates jobs. To help governments scale up electrification, WRI works with cities and governments around the world to support the development of EV roadmaps, financing mechanisms and planning. 

4.    Electric Transportation Demand Management 

WRI emphasizes a new category of planning, Electric Transportation Demand Management (eTDM), which leverages the fundamental differences between electric and conventional vehicles to reduce vehicle miles traveled. WRI works across the mobility and energy sectors to enable EVs to provide more integrated, sustainable and equitable energy and mobility systems. These systems will not only improve technology, but also shift users away from private vehicles.

Within each of these areas, WRI works to ensure that EV deployment reduces emissions, expands access and improves quality of life across both the mobility and energy sectors.

Considerations for Optimizing EV Deployment


Mobility Sector

Energy Sector

Reduce Emissions

1. Reduces net greenhouse gas emissions caused by the transportation of people and goods and the generation of electricity over the lifecycle of the affected electric mobility system.

2. Reduces harmful air pollution caused by the transportation of people and goods and the generation of electricity over the lifecycle of the affected electric mobility system.

Expand Access

3. Expands access to zero-emission vehicles within socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.

4. Expands access to reliable electricity within socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.

Improve Quality of Life

5. Promotes safe and sustainable transportation modalities, supports economic growth, and mitigates environmental and human rights harm associated with the production of vehicles.

6. Reduces energy costs for individuals and businesses, supports economic growth, and enables grid resilience and energy independence.