transportation | “Are we nearly there?”: Who hasn’t heard this question at least once during a family trip? This question is now at the heart of the environmental transition debate, particularly regarding the end of polluting fossil-fuel vehicles.
Transportation today contributes one-fifth of the world’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, the vast majority coming from more than one billion cars, trucks, buses, and motorized or two-wheeled vehicles. Putting the world on a path to reducing these emissions quickly and on a scale consistent with climate goals is no small feat.
At the end of 2015, ClimateWorks and a number of partners got together to test an idea: philanthropy as a catalyst for conditions for a market shift towards cleaner cars. This global collaboration to accelerate the market, now known as Electric drive drivesupports research, engages policymakers and businesses, and partners with communities such as workers, health professionals, and those who have been affected by tailpipe pollution for far too long.
When teams at ClimateWorks began redoubling their efforts seven years ago, they knew ambition was the key to turning ideas into action. Time and time again, they have seen that ambition and politics can spur large-scale investments in electric transportation.
As with any journey, they needed signs or indicators to know if they were on the right track. One way to look at the shift from dirty combustion to clean electric vehicles (EVs) is to adopt the lens of innovation theory, that is, to study the patterns and speed of diffusion of new technologies in society. In other words, find the stage at which the market moves beyond early adopters to the mass market needed to make an impact at scale.
Given what is needed for a livable planet, a rapid adoption curve is necessary to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis. In collaboration with expert partners, the Electric drive drive Develop models of what the adoption curve should be for a thriving world.
And then an indicator emerged: the year in which 15% of new cars sold will be zero-emission electric models. Although this tipping point is not perfect, it does indicate that consumers are becoming more aware of and confident in technology, infrastructure is becoming more available, and investment in vehicle production and supply chain is becoming more significant.
When will this milestone be reached? there Electric drive drive It has set a bold goal of reaching an average market share of 15% by 2026 in the largest auto markets: China, the United States, Europe and India. Together, these markets account for more than 70% of the current global demand for cars. At the time the target was set, the average global market share for electric vehicles was less than 1%, and other predictions predicted that such an ambitious level of market adoption would not be achieved for decades.
Earlier this year, ClimateWorks partnered with the Global Network of Climate Partners Electric drive drive To discuss progress towards a 100% electric vehicle future. In 2022, the average sales of new electric passenger cars in the four major markets will exceed the 15% threshold. This step was taken as a significant four-year advance on the initial goals of the Foundation.
There is something to celebrate that is very encouraging. However, as with everything, the devil is in the details. And while the average of the four major markets exceeded the target by 15%, there are significant differences between markets, while other segments, such as trucks, lag far behind.
Sales data shows how to move markets towards a greener future with strong policies. Europe and China have introduced ambitious policies such as carbon dioxide standards and zero-emission vehicle sales requirements to lead the market. These policies incentivize manufacturers to develop and offer affordable EV models, while giving confidence to others to invest in EV charging and the supply chain.
The United States, which has suffered four years of inaction, even adversarial, to Donald Trump’s policies, began catching up last year with the reintroduction of tougher carbon dioxide standards for cars, $1 billion in electric vehicle investments and incentives. The United States also adopted bold new policies such as Plans Advanced clean cars And Advanced clean truck.
In India, the accelerating future of electric vehicles is looking brighter than ever due to the amazing progress being made through national support and state-level policies. Currently, 90% of Indian states have adopted or are in the process of doing electric vehicle policy, and it is already in the works. Leading states and territories such as Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are starting to see a significant increase in EV adoption of cars, two-wheelers, tricycles and buses.
It is important to note that these policies, and the resulting acceleration in the market, occur precisely in the regions where the partners are involved. Electric drive drive They are the most active. The ClimateWorks Foundation Network builds political will, engages government policymakers and business leaders, and provides technical assistance on what is best.
ClimateWorks is also seeing progress and a real commitment to a zero-emissions transportation future in Chile, Costa Rica, Kenya and many other countries outside the four largest auto markets. partners Electric drive drive It now operates in more than 100 countries to help “make the leap” in the transition from petroleum-burning vehicles to cleaner electric transportation.
So no, we are not there yet. Reaching this milestone shows that a concerted philanthropic effort to change the game of ambition, politics and investment is succeeding. Now is the time to strengthen and expand this work more widely, to ensure that everyone can enjoy the benefits of moving to cleaner electric transportation.
American Forbes article – Author: Anthony Eggert
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