Emissions from the Israeli transport sector rose by 126% between 1990 and 2019. The growth can be attributed to a continued dominance of fossil fuel vehicles alongside a large increase in private car ownership.
To put the sector on a 1.5°C compatible pathway, it needs to move from the dependence on oil towards electrification. While models provide a conservative deployment of electricity in the region, by 2030, the share of electricity in transport could be between 2–13%, increasing to 43–63% by 2050. Depending on the pathway, hydrogen can supplement electrification. The share of biofuels is expected to remain small until 2030, accounting for 1–3% of the energy mix. However, the biofuel share could grow to 11–29% by 2050 under 1.5°C compatible pathways.
As a small and densely populated country, Israel has significant potential to uptake electric vehicles (EVs) as the necessary charging infrastructure can be rolled out relatively quickly. The government has announced that 100% of new car sales must be EVs from 2030, an ambitious and commendable goal. Alongside the increase in the number of EVs, significant investments in public transport are needed to decarbonise the transport sector.