the Next 20 Years

Scientists have warned, and policy makers agree, we need to act quickly to reduce the carbon intensity (CO₂ emissions) from our transportation and energy sectors. With more than 2 billion cars, trucks, ships, trains, and powerplants in service today, tremendous changes are required.

Most scientists give us until 2050 to get our carbon emissions under control, and so the US and California are setting regulatory and policy deadlines giving approximately 20 years to make substantial progress. If this seems impossible or radically revolutionary, it’s not. 

The steam engine is invented by James Watt
Steam Engines

Rather, it is a continued evolution of a path we have been on since James Watt invented the steam engine in 1760. Imagine how revolutionary his invention seemed at the time.

Nicolas Otto and Rudolf diesel developed internal combustion engines
Internal Combustion Engines
Then imagine around the turn of the 20th century when Nicolas Otto and Rudolf diesel developed internal combustion engines that ran on liquid fuels like gasoline and diesel. As the engine became smaller, lighter, more durable, and more powerful, automobiles transitioned from a novelty to a massive global industry providing mobility and transportation to people around the world.
The trucking industry is born
Trucking Industry
In the 1950’s the trucking industry was born, changing the way goods moved from factory to store, and from farm to table, improving the quality of life for many. However, as automobiles and trucks gained in popularity, a key downside of unwanted emissions and air pollution became an issue. We didn’t give up though, instead relying on technology, innovation, and industry cooperation with regulatory agencies to set and meet air quality goals. As a result, cars and trucks became cleaner, but not only that, they became more powerful, more fuel efficient, and even less costly to own (adjusted for inflation).
Clean Air Act
Formation of EPA/CARB

Since the beginning of the 1970 Clean Air Act, the US EPA (1970) and states like California (CARB, 1967) have adopted increasingly stringent emission standards. Every time tighter regulations were called for, industry stood up and met the challenge.

Present Day
Transforming our Automobile Industry Today

So, as we stand here looking at the daunting challenge of transforming our automobile industry

Based on what we’ve been able to accomplish over the last few hundred years, and what we’ve seen just in our lifetimes, we will prevail. As technologists, scientists, and engineers we rise to the challenge. We can’t wait to see what comes next in transportation and energy, and we can’t wait to be part of “The next 20 years.”

A New Goal

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has set a goal. We have just over 20 years become a zero-emissions industry. And even though we have been working hard to have cleaner cars for the past 40 years, the next 20 will be the big, hard push. 44 Energy is proud to lend our expertise. To help find the best ways forward. To learn together. To make things better for future generations.