The transport sector is among the most significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally. Considering the challenges to reducing transport emissions, it is pertinent to introduce alternate transport modes. Given the momentum in addressing climate change, electrification and alternative fuels can positively impact the environment. Electric mobility presents a viable alternative to addressing these challenges through innovative pricing solutions, appropriate technology, and support infrastructure.

Focusing only on personal vehicles for electrification will not solve the problem. It should extend to vehicle fleets such as those operated by public transport agencies.  The effort requires more than just converting the bus fleet to zero-emission technology; supporting infrastructure and facilities need upliftment too.  Smart grids are the future of energy systems, which are intrinsically linked to the successful deployment of EVs. Similarly, public transportation decarbonization can also include the use of hydrogen fuel in addition to electrification. Hydrogen-powered vehicles have hydrogen fuel cells that convert energy to electricity.

Cities are leading by example by setting goals for state agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas associated with burning on-site fuels at buildings and in vehicles. A multi-governmental policy Electric Vehicle Initiative is one initiative based on recognising EVs’ opportunities. It acts as a platform to address the policy-related changes related to electric mobility.

Measures needed for EV readiness

Market Readiness

Industry players in each country contribute significantly to the attractiveness of EVs to customers.  Today there are over 450 electric car models available in 2021, twice the number of models available in 2018. This led to increasing in substantial sales volume in all markets.  However, harmonised technology standards and interoperability between the electric vehicle (EV) and grid are becoming increasingly important. It helps in providing a predictable framework that gives innovators confidence to bring their e-mobility products into the market.

Customer Readiness

From an end-user perspective, the cost is one of the most crucial factors of EV adaptation.  This involves optimizing the production of scale and building an ecosystem, thus allowing the customer to use EVs conveniently. Price parity between EVs and Internal combustion engines (ICE) is an important variable.

Infrastructure Readiness

Infrastructure readiness primarily comes down to the availability and performance of charging options. The infrastructure reduces psychological barriers for customers and increases EV usability. For users without access to private overnight parking with an electric power supply, long-distance EV travel can be made possible by providing a dense and simple-to-use public charging infrastructure.

Government Readiness

The legislative and regulatory bodies play a central role in promoting EV adoption by introducing comprehensive incentives for purchasing vehicles. Co2 regulations are needed to stimulate the market. Standard prevalent EV incentive programs to compensate for economic disadvantage are:
1) Sales Price incentive; 2) Ownership incentive; 3) Operational Incentives;

Image Courtesy: Interoperability and e-mobility (europa.eu) . An integrated approach to ensure cost-effective and end-user-oriented infrastructure development without disturbing grid stability.

 

European Market

The transport sector is responsible for a large share of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions which is a significant contributor to climate change. Europe has significantly decreased emissions from other sectors like power production and industries. However, the transport sector accounts for over one-quarter of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Electric vehicles, including Battery Electric vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), are rising in EU markets.

There has been a steady increase in annual electric car registrations in EU market. In 2020 the total electric car count registration was 11% which increased to 18% in 2021, in which BEVs account for 9% and PHEVs represent 8.8%.


Graph Courtesy: New registrations of electric vehicles in Europe (europa.eu)

The share of electric vehicles (BEVs & PHEVs) increased in all countries (EU27, Iceland, Norway) in 2021. The highest shares were found in Norway (86%), followed by Iceland (64%), Sweden (46%), and Denmark (35%).

Roadmap Ahead

The European Commission adopted a series of legislative proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. To reach EU climate targets under European Green Deal, setting targets in the Transport sector is necessary. The EU can achieve its 2050 goal and emission targets with the help of further expansion in the European electric sector.

By 2030 more markets will follow the phasing out of traditional ICE Vehicles. Meanwhile, regulators have started imposing strict technical standards for ICEs emissions and fuel consumption.

 

This article is based on Report: Global electric mobility readiness index — GEMRIX 2022 | Arthur D. Little (adlittle.com)

Image Courtesy: Global Electric Mobility Programme | UNEP – UN Environment Programme

Ayush Jain

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