Electric robotaxis may not be the climate solution we were led to believe

Andrew J. Hawkins

The Verge

GM Robot Car Company Cruise

Photo by Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images

For years, we’ve been told that electric autonomous taxis can help fight climate change by reducing air pollution. But new research from Harvard Law School suggests these supposedly “zero emissions” vehicles could actually exacerbate many of the problems we are facing today.

A new study led by Ashley Nunes, a fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, concluded that fleets of electric autonomous taxis could “dramatically increase energy consumption and emissions that contribute to climate change — not reduce them.”

“While electric vehicles themselves have lower emissions than traditional gasoline-powered ones, our work shows that deploying electric robocabs en masse on America’s streets could actually increase the...

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