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EGEB: Japan to scrap gas-powered cars by mid-2030s

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Japan aims to abolish gas-powered vehicles in the next 15 years.
  • Massachusetts reaches a deal to make 40% of its electric power green by 2030.
  • South Korea will replace all diesel trains with an electric bullet train by 2029.
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The end of ICE cars in Japan

Japan aims to get rid of fully gas-powered cars and other vehicles in the next 15 years, the government announced over the holiday break. It’s part of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s green growth strategy to create around $2 trillion a year in green growth and reach net zero by 2050. This is confirmation of a plan Electrek reported on last month. The plan, however, still allows for conventional hybrids.

To increase the switch to electric vehicles, the Japanese government is working to cut the cost of vehicle batteries by more than half to $97 (10,000 yen) or less per kilowatt-hour by 2030.

Further, as Reuters reports:

It aims to boost hydrogen consumption to 3 million tonnes by 2030 and to about 20 million tonnes by 2050 from 200 tonnes in 2017, in areas such as power generation and transportation.

Massachusetts’ green energy plan

Massachusetts bipartisan state legislative negotiators yesterday agreed on a plan, bill S.2995, called “An Act creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy.” The comprehensive bill will now be put before the state’s House and Senate. It includes the following, according to MassLive:

The bill calls for utilities to purchase an additional 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind generation, raising the total state authorization to 5,600 megawatts.

The Department of Public Utilities would also need to alter its approach to regulating the electric and natural gas utilities under the bill.

The legislation is also designed to ensure that at least 40% of the state’s electric power will be renewable by 2030, by making incremental changes in the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard each year from 2025 through 2029.

The bill requires that gross emissions by 2050 must fall at least 85% below 1990 levels.

South Korea’s electric bullet train

South Korean president Moon Jae-in announced today that the country will replace all diesel passenger trains with an electric bullet train, the KTX-Eum, by 2029. This move will cut around 30% of emissions from rail travel.

Moon traveled on the KTX-Eum between Wonju in Gangwon Province and Jecheon in North Chungcheong Province. It will go into public service tomorrow.

The six-car KTX-Eum (electric multiple unit) is an electric multiple unit train built by Hyundai Rotem Co. It produces around 70% of emissions of diesel-powered trains. It can go up to 162 mph. It uses distributed traction with driving trailers at each end and six powered intermediate cars

Reuters reports:

Korail chief, Son Byung-seok, told Moon that the company aims to expand high-speed services from 29% of all routes to 52% by 2024, as part of the government’s plans to funnel 70 trillion won ($64.7 billion) into rail networks.

Moon said:

If roads were the arteries of economic development in the 20th century for us, railways are the main arteries of economic and social development in the 21st century.

A green energy plan is central to South Korea’s pandemic stimulus plan, as Electrek reported in July.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.