The global uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) will depend on a number of factors, including advances in vehicle and battery technologies, reduced costs from economies of scale, enabling policy environments, and government incentives. The widespread availability of charging infrastructure is a necessary condition for a broad global rollout of EVs, which will increase the attractiveness of EVs across market segments, and will allow EV integration into larger urban transport systems (e.g., as last-mile solutions from public transport hubs).
- Action has potential application to both passenger and freight transport, though current charging technologies are more efficient for relatively smaller passenger vehicles.
- Action applies specifically to on-road motorized vehicles, which can include two-, three-, and four-wheelers.
- The IEA suggests that if transport is to contribute to a CO2 target consistent with a 2DC stabilization pathway, technologies such as plug-in hybrid, battery electric vehicle and fuel cell vehicles would have to reach an annual market share of about 30% of global LDV sales in a balanced Avoid/Shift/Improve 2DC scenario by 2030. To achieve maximum CO2 reduction, renewable energy would have to be scaled up in global power generation.
- In its latest estimates, WHO indicates that outdoor air pollution causes 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide per year. People living in LICs and MICs disproportionately experience the burden of outdoor air pollution, with 88% of the 3.7 million premature deaths occurring in these countries. As transport is amongst the major sources of outdoor air pollution, the transition to electric-mobility will contribute towards reducing the associated mortality and economic losses.
Status of deployment:
- As one of the Action Areas of the UN Climate Summit, the Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI) aims to boost the share of electric vehicles in annual sales to 30% (2-3 wheelers and LDVs) and to integrate electric mobility into a wider concept of sustainable urban transport, which will achieve a 30% reduction of GHGs in urban areas by 2030.
- For global energy-related emissions to peak latest by 2020, the IEA has estimated that the share of petroleum-based transport fuels needs to be decreased from 94% to 87% between 1990 and 2030.IEA has estimated that to reach a 2DS scenario, sales of EVs, which currently constitute less than 1% of car sales worldwide, will need to exceed 40% of total passenger car sales by 2040. This would require the scaling-up of EV infrastructure and implementation of several complementary policies such as the removal of fossil fuel subsidies, and carbon pricing. In the absence of complementary policies, it would be very difficult for countries to reach these targets, i.e. 40% of total passenger car sales by 2040. For example, in Germany, a commitment to achieve an EV share of 20% of new registrations by 2020 appears overly optimistic, based on EV share of less than one percent in 2014.
- If EV penetration is increased, it could provide 0.3-9% mitigation potential in national transport CO2 emissions by 2030. Furthermore, the transport sector can benefit greatly from decarbonizing efforts in the electricity sector. IEA estimates that renewable energy could become the leading source of electricity by 2030 and the carbon intensity of the power sector is projected to improve by 30% during the same period.
- A case study of 18 Japanese cities explored the application of EVs in various contexts, including the deployment of quick charging stations and developing EVs for cold climates, and a 2010 goal to deploy 1,500 vehicles every fiscal year was estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 2,500 tons yearly. In Colombia, mitigation proposals consider that if 15% EV market penetration and 30% EV market penetration were reached by 2040, this would result in savings of about 10.4 Mt and 19 Mt of CO2 respectively. EV case studies have also been conducted in Singapore, Bangalore, Berlin and London.