Exponential growth of EVs needs policy boost to meet climate goals, new report findsThe We Mean Business Coalition
London, 26 May 2021: A new report finds the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) is now surging up an ‘S-curve’ of growth, which, if supported by the right policies and investment, could be in line with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
Transportation contributes to nearly a quarter of energy-related CO2 emissions. Passenger road transport vehicles are a major culprit, with emissions rising 16% between 2010 to 2018.
To demonstrate the emission reduction potential through scaling of EVs, We Mean Business coalition commissioned the analysis, The Shape and Pace of Change in the Transport Transition, by University College London Institute for Sustainable Resources (UCL ISR).
Earlier research by the Energy Transition Commission showed that from 2024 consumers will prefer EVs over petrol and diesel cars on all fronts – costs, environment and performance. This new report released today goes one step further: Global EV sales have increased by an average of 41% per year since 2015, and if growth along this S-curve continues, ALL new cars sold could be electric by 2040.
However, the climate crisis demands that we push harder. In line with halving emissions by 2030 and a net zero future by 2050, we need 100% zero emission vehicle sales by 2035. This report gives concrete recommendations to policy makers on how to accelerate EV uptake, including:
- Invest in infrastructure for reliable, seamless and publicly accessible EV charging.
- Commit to public procurement of EVs and incentivize private companies to do the same, for example through the Climate Group’s EV100 program.
- Help buyers overcome the up-front EV purchase costs, for example by stimulating leasing schemes and second-hand markets for EVs and batteries.
Michael Grubb, Professor of Energy and Climate Change at University College London Institute for Sustainable Resources said: “The projections show that recent EV growth rates are consistent with S-curve shaped uptake dynamics, that would reach future benchmarks consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. If the right policies sustain the current rates of S-curve growth, we will hit benchmarks for more than half of new sales globally to be electric by 2030 – and soon after that, all new passenger vehicles sold could be zero emissions.”
Sophie Punte, Managing Director of Policy, We Mean Business coalition said: “Businesses and consumers are embracing EVs. Just like cars replaced horses a century ago, EVs will replace petrol and diesel cars. Governments now have the chance to put the right policies and infrastructure in place so that EVs fully contribute to halving emissions by 2030.”
Download the full report here.
Notes to editors:
About the We Mean Business coalition:
The We Mean Business coalition is a group of nonprofit organizations working with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change. The global coalition brings together seven organizations: BSR, CDP, Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Together we catalyze business action to drive policy ambition and accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Find out more at wemeanbusinesscoaltion.org.
About UCL ISR:
UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (UCL ISR) is a world-leading centre of research and teaching excellence that generates knowledge in the globally sustainable use of natural resources and trains the future leaders of this field. UCL is a diverse community with the freedom to challenge and think differently. We are consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the world and are one of only a handful of institutions rated as having the strongest academic reputation and the broadest research impact. Find out more about UCL ISR: www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/sustainable/