Electric Vehicles 101

26/08/2017

Key Insights
  • Electric vehicles (EVs) will become mainstream over the next decade. In 2016, the EV market passed the threshold of two million electric cars worldwide – a 60% increase on the previous year. 40% of sales were in China, which also has the world’s largest electric vehicle fleet
  • Global sales will overtake internal combustion vehicle sales before 2040, BNEF predicts, driven by falling costs, improvements in battery technology and expanded charging infrastructure. As the price of an electric car become equal to a gasoline counterpart in 2025, the real take-off for EV sales will begin
  • Electrifying transport will save lives by cutting air pollution, and will be an important step towards addressing climate change. EVs generally emit less carbon dioxide emissions than gasoline cars, although where the electricity used to power them comes from is important. An electrified car fleet could function as storage capacity to complement renewable power
  • Fuel economy regulations in the US, China and Europe are getting increasingly stringent, which will be difficult to meet without a significant EV growth. Technological advances are unlocking policy ambition from governments. Britain and France have announced plans to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars by 2040, and Norway has proposed a target to phase out gasoline cars by 2025
  • EV growth will dent global oil demand, perhaps by as much as 16.4 million barrels a day by 2040 – just over a sixth of current demand
  • EV growth will not be affected by the supply of critical battery materials in the next 13 years, BNEF predicts. The demand for battery materials are expected to surge through 2030, and technological advances in high energy density chemistries will diminish the material input
  • As electric vehicles are gaining ground, traditional automobile companies announced new plans to develop a range of new electric vehicles. Bigger charging networks and better batteries will help dispel consumer ‘range anxiety’. Self-driving technology and ridesharing could accelerate deployment of EVs and transform the way we travel
  • Electric vehicle industry will generate a net employment gain in battery manufacturing, charging infrastructure and future vehicle technologies, while stranding most of the traditional jobs in the auto industry. By 2030, the EV industry will result in net job gain of 130,000 to 350,000 in the US, and 660,000 to 1.1 million jobs in Europe
The Main Benefits of EVs

Transport is responsible for more than a quarter of current energy use and a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Two-thirds of these emissions come from road vehicles, although the contribution of aviation and shipping is increasing. Electric trucks, ships and planes are being developed, but it is electric cars and other light vehicles (EVs)[1] that have made the most progress towards the mainstream. 

Modern EVs offer a range of benefits over conventional gasoline cars. They are more energy efficient, require less maintenance, are quieter, don’t produce tailpipe emissions, and save money at the pump. EVs are superior to gasoline cars in vehicle design architecture, maintenance, and fuel economy, and offer consumers savings in operating costs and lower vehicle emissions.
 
The drivetrain of an electric car consists of just one moving part, the motor, compared with hundreds of moving parts in a gasoline vehicle. This simpler vehicle design means an electric car requires less maintenance, avoids frequent oil changes, filter replacements and exhaust system repairs, and requires less frequent replacement of parts.
 

Source: Idaho National Laboratory, 2017

An electric motor is five times more energy efficient than a conventional gasoline engine, and the price of gasoline is higher per energy unit than electricity. Better fuel economy makes EVs cheaper to charge and they travel more miles per energy equivalent of a gallon, an immediate saving for drivers of between $300 and $1,300 a year in the US.

Electric vehicles are poised for massive growth

The market share of electric vehicles is growing exponentially, although they still make up only a small fraction of the global vehicle fleet. A range of new models from major manufacturers suggests the future of cars is electric. 
 
In 2010, there were a few thousand EVs on the road worldwide. In 2016, there were 2 million. Growth has outpaced projections in recent years, driven by government incentives and the falling price of EVs. Despite this, electric vehicles have a huge mountain to climb. The total global vehicle population is projected to grow to 56 million by 2030 under IEA’s 2°C scenario. EVs currently make up just 0.2% of ‘light-duty vehicles’ worldwide.
 
In 2016, 95% of electric car sales were concentrated in 10 countries, with China (40%) and the US (20%) the two biggest markets. Norway has the highest level of electric car market share in the world – 29% of new car registrations in 2016 were electric, followed by the Netherlands with 6.4%, Sweden with 3.4%, and China, France and the United Kingdom with 1.5% each. 
 
Further rapid growth is projected for the 2020s, spurred by new models like Tesla’s Model 3 and GM’s Chevy Bolt. Both will be released in 2017 and will be the first mass market EVs with more than 300 miles of range, and will sell for US$30k – 35k after rebates. (Average cost of a new car in the US is $32,000.)
 
Car companies including BMW, Porsche, Renault and VW plan to produce a range of new electric vehicles including electric SUVs and small vans. In July 2017, Volvo committed to phase out pure gasoline cars altogether after 2019 and produce only electric or hybrid cars. Daimler and its Chinese venture partner BAIC Motor Corporation recently announced $735 million of investment in battery electric vehicle production in China. Toyota revealed plans to sell electric cars in 2022, powered by a new type of battery that will increase driving range and decrease charging time. 
 
BNEF projects that, by 2020, there will be more than 120 pure electric car models with battery ranges of up to 350 miles, and, by 2040, EVs will make up 54% of new vehicle sales.

Source: IEA Global EV Outlook, 2017, p.5.
Electric vehicle growth will be driven by falling battery costs

The battery is a third of the cost of an electric car. As battery costs fall, demand for EVs is expected to grow substantially. 
 
The cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen dramatically from US$1000/kWh in 2008 to US$268/kWh in 2015 – a 73% reduction in seven years. Falling battery prices has driven the exponential growth of EVs.
 
Battery costs continue to fall. In April 2017, Tesla’s battery costs were US$190/kWh, driven down by mass production at the company’s Gigafactory in Nevada. By 2018, the Gigafactory is expected to reduce battery costs by 30% again, and Tesla expects to produce 35 GW/year of lithium-ion batteries, the equivalent of “the entire world’s [current] battery production combined”. By 2020, battery costs will fall to US$100/kWh, Tesla claims. BNEF forecasts battery costs will fall to US$73/kWh by 2030.

Source: BNEF NEO, 2016
Electric vehicles cut carbon dioxide emissions from road transport
EVs generally emit less carbon dioxide than gasoline cars, although savings depend on how the electricity that powers them is generated. They could help address climate change if combined with decarbonisation of the power sector.  
 
EVs can be zero emission if the electricity powering them is sourced from decarbonised generation. But emissions rise dramatically if coal is used for producing the electricity. If electricity is sourced from fossil fuels such as coal, EVs can have emissions between 17% and 27% higher than gasoline cars.
 
In the US[2], an electric vehicle reduces emissions an average of 58% compared with a gasoline car, according to a report published by the US Department of Energy (DOE), but emissions are highly sensitive to how power is generated locally and nationally. The map below shows the equivalent mile-per-gallon (MPG) fuel efficiency, in emissions terms, for electric vehicles in different regions of the USA. 66% of Americans live in regions where EVs powered from the local grid produce lower emissions than gasoline vehicles.
 
Research by Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI) suggests that, by 2050, EVs will mitigate 3.3Gt of carbon dioxide emissions annually, compared with global emissions of ~36Gt in 2014.
Source: Union of Concerned Scientists, November 2015, p. 2.
Battery range and charging infrastructure is expanding

In 2017, new electric car models will offer battery range of between 100 and 300 miles per charge. By 2020, electric SUV options including the Volvo 40.2 and the Audi E-tron Quattro will push range between recharges above 300 miles.  
 
Extending charging infrastructure and fast-charging options are also on the way. Depending on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point, charging an electric car can take between 30 minutes and 12 hours. Tesla’s Supercharger Network can charge a battery halfway in 30 minutes, and has an eventual target of reducing that to just 5 minutes.
 
Both developments will help address ‘range anxiety’, which is the biggest barrier to going electric for US consumers, according to a 2013 poll. Recent MIT research shows that most fears of running out of power are already unfounded. Based on an analysis of US driving patterns, it concluded existing electric cars could replace 87% of individually owned gasoline cars now, and 98% by 2020 as battery technology advances.


Between 2015 and 2016, Tesla’s Supercharger Network grew from 1,349 to 2,386 stations in the US, and zero to 1,524 stations in Europe. There were 100,000, 72,000 and 42,000 public charging stations in China, Europe and the US respectively in 2016, according to Euromonitor International. BMW, Volkswagen, Ford and Daimler have also announced a plan to build 400 ultra-fast charging stations in Europe.

Source: Electrek, April 15, 2017.
Figure: Tesla Supercharger Network in the Americas and Europe
More batteries mean more demand for raw materials
Raw materials including cobalt, graphite, aluminium and manganese are critical for making the lithium-ion batteries that power EVs. Sourcing battery materials responsibly will require careful measures from EV manufacturers.
 
As EVs take off, lithium battery demand is expected to rise from 65 GWh in 2017 to more than 400 GWh by 2025. Lithium-ion batteries can require a range of materials to manufacture. While BNEF predicts raw material availability will not limit the uptake of EVs to 2030, cobalt and graphite are expensive and relatively difficult to secure. More abundant and cheaper metals like manganese and aluminium are less likely to impact the manufacturing of EV batteries.
 
The lithium-ion battery market is dominated by China, Japan and Korea, which make up 95% of production. China is also a major processing hub for lithium and cobalt, and produces most of the world’s graphite. Intensive graphite mining in China has led to polluted air and water, and damaged crops and public health. Chinese authorities have closed several mines and processors.
 
Tesla says graphite used in its batteries is sourced responsibly and comes in synthetic form from Japan. More recently, it announced plans to establish a North American supply chain, and is likely to source graphite from Canada, Idaho and Minnesota.
 
Cobalt-based lithium-ion batteries made up 68% of the global battery market in 2015. More than half the world’s cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and unethical mining practices including child labour and human right abuses linked to the conflict in the country are a challenge for EV manufacturers.
 
In the medium-term, battery technology will move toward higher energy density chemistries like Nickel Manganese Cobalt Li-ion, which will reduce demand for raw materials by 2030. There are other resource considerations around EVs – expanding charging infrastructure could increase demand for copper up to 5% by 2025.
Source: BNEF, August 3, 2017.
Electric Vehicles could be a key part of a renewably-powered power grid
Energy stored in electric vehicle batteries could help balance the electricity grid at times of high demand, a concept called vehicle-to-grid (V2G). Combining electric vehicles and renewable power could speed up deployment of both.
 
A grid-connected EV fleet that could put power back into the grid could function as a giant distributed battery. Such a system could be useful to complement variable solar and wind power generation, enabling a power system based on high levels of renewable energy.
 
Such grid-scale use of EV batteries for energy storage will only be possible when there is wider adoption of electric vehicles. Early pilot projects testing the feasibility of such systems are underway. In Denmark, The Parker Project is a collaboration between grid specialists and auto companies exploring new ways to let electric vehicle owners sell electricity services to the grid.
 
V2G services could create new financial incentives for consumers and operators of large fleets. Energy stored in electric vehicles could be used to avoid peak tariffs during periods of high electricity demand, for example, or consumers could be paid for helping with grid balancing. By 2020, a fleet of electric vehicles could meet an average of 6% of the balancing needs for the UK power grid, according to one study.
Electric cars will eat into global oil demand
The rise of electric vehicles could dramatically diminish global oil demand. The amount of oil demand analysts expect electric vehicles to displace varies, but it could be enough to have serious implications for the global oil market as soon as the 2020s.
 
Oil fuels the transport sector – 93% of the energy used in transport comes from oil products. At the end of 2016, global oil demand was about 96 million barrels per day (mbd). The IEA expectsdemand to grow 1.2mbd a year in coming years as demand from non-OECD countries increases.
 
Electric vehicles displace oil demand. Globally, electric vehicles displaced 17,800 barrels of oil per day at the end of 2016. By 2023, BNEF predicts the effect will be more than a hundred times greater – 2 million barrels a day, or “a glut of oil equivalent to what triggered the 2014 oil crisis”. By 2040, BNEF projects this will rise to 8 million barrels a day. Electric vehicles could cut projected oil use in half over the next 20 years, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) suggests.
 
Others have made even more dramatic estimates of the effect on the oil industry. In one scenario[3], Carbon Tracker predicts displacement of 16.4mbd by 2040. BP is more conservative; it projects just 1.2mbd of oil demand displaced by 2035, based on conservative assumptions about EV uptake.
 
A substantial contraction of future oil demand from transport would mean revenue loss for the oil industry and the stranding of costly oil projects. The current market valuations of publicly listed oil companies are based on future scenarios on global oil demand which do not take into account rapid growth in EVs. Disruption to the oil supply chain as a result of lower demand could include low oil prices and contraction of oil production. Lower oil prices will affect costly oil fields, such as the Canadian tar sands, and lower oil demand will reduce the volume of oil production, with knock-on effects for high-cost companies, fields, and pipeline projects like the Keystone Pipeline, as well as the refining industry.
 
Source: CTI, Expect the Unexpected, 2017, p.24.
Self-driving vehicles and ride-sharing could drive electric vehicle growth
Car companies and technology companies are investigating new technologies that will change the way we travel. Self-driving technologies and car-sharing networks combined with EVs could lower transport costs, disrupt private car ownership and increase use of electric vehicles.
 
Simultaneous developments in car-sharing services, electric cars and self-driving technology are likely to bring massive disruption to the automobile industry over the next decade. The industry appears to believe that driverless cars will be commercialised in the early 2020s, with more than 20 auto companies and Silicon Valley start-ups[4] currently testing pilot projects on highways. BMW will produce fully autonomous vehicles for ridesharing programs by 2021, and other car makers have similar plans, including Volvo and Nissan.
 
Automakers (GM, Ford, BMW) and ridesharing companies (Uber, Lyft) are already planning their own mobility services, while Tesla recently unveiled plans for a self-driving ride-sharing platform called ‘Tesla Network’, which could allow Tesla owners to ‘rent’ their cars out to others.
 
CITI GPS predicts driverless and networked cars integrating with ride-sharing services will accelerate the deployment of EVs over the next four to six years. KMPG predicts car ownership will be disrupted by shared-use electric driverless cars in urban areas by 2030. Car-sharing networks could provide transport four to ten times more cheaply than driving an individually owned car, think tank RethinkX suggests. If consumers turn to car-sharing networks, RethinkX claims more than 90% of US passenger miles could be electric as early as 2030.[5] By 2040, driverless EVs could reduce vehicle ownership by 50%, according to one forecast from Barclays Research.
Electric vehicles will generate a net employment increase, but technological transformation could disrupt the jobs market
Electric vehicles will add new jobs in battery manufacturing, charging infrastructure and future vehicle technologies. But automation is likely to impact millions of low-paid driving jobs, pushing policymakers to experiment with new welfare measures to address future income loss. 
 
The electric vehicle industry will bring huge changes to employment in the auto sector. Electric vehicles will require fewer auto manufacturing jobs due to simpler vehicle design. Analysis by Der Spiegel suggests phasing out conventional cars will cut approximately 40% of the manufacturing costs of car components, with cascading effects on jobs. Many key components of EVs, including battery cells, packs and electronics will not be assembled by automakers, but sourced from parent companies. Jobs will also be affected in repairs and servicing, as EVs require less maintenance.
 
For example, phasing out gasoline cars would cut over 426,000 auto manufacturing jobs and 13% of value creation in the auto supply chain in Germany by 2030, according to an industry report. In transitioning to EV production, VW confirmed 30,000 job cuts by 2021, and eventually up to 99,000 jobs in plants globally.
 
Job losses will be accompanied by job creation. EVs will generate jobs in battery manufacturing, charging infrastructure and future vehicle technologies. Tesla’s Gigafactory plans to employ more than 10,000 people in 2018, for example, and the EV industry is expected to create a net employment gain of 130,000 to 350,000 jobs in the US by 2030, a study by the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology predicts.
 
In the UK, the EV industry could support up to 320,000 jobs, depending on government investment in charging infrastructure and training for mechanics, according to a report by Loughborough University. In the EU, between 660,000 and 1.1 million net additional jobs will be generated by 2030, according to a report by Cambridge Econometrics.
 
Bigger changes could be on the way. Automation will likely affect 2.2 to 3.1 million US driving jobsi n freight transport, buses and car services, according to a report published by the Council of Economic Advisors to the Obama Administration. Even higher future predictions claim five million stranded driving jobs nationwide, including 3.5 million American truck drivers.
 
With automation potentially replacing 80% of low-paid driving jobs, compensation mechanisms and welfare provision for loss of income and profession will be necessary to minimise income inequality, and the prospect of automation has encouraged Silicon Valley and policymakers to tinker with the idea of a universal basic income (UBI) to tackle related unemployment.
Source: Der Spiegel, December 01, 2016.
Figure: Phasing out conventional vehicles and value destruction along the vehicle drive train.
Annex 1 – A brief history of electric vehicles
Electric cars have been around for over a hundred years, but in recent years they have enjoyed a transformation in their prospects.
 
Electric vehicles have a long history. In the 1800s, innovators from Hungary, the Netherlands and the United States worked on developing battery-powered vehicles. The first electric car in the US was built by William Morrison in 1891. By 1900, electric cars gained widespread popularity, accounting for 38% of all vehicles on the US roads, compared with 22% gasoline powered. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford collaborated to build an affordable electric vehicle. In 1912, the global EV stock reached a historical peak of 30,000.
 
In 1908, mass production of the Ford Model T brought down the cost of gasoline cars, which eventually went down a third of an electric car price. In 1912, a gasoline car was priced around $650, while an electric car was $1750. During the 1920s, electric cars lost market share in the US due to the rise of gas stations[6], the construction of a more developed road network connecting cities which allowed drivers to travel longer distances, and domestic oil discoveries (cheap Texas oil), all of which helped gasoline cars dominate the industry.
 
The automobile became a “vacation agent” for Americans with newly constructed highways stretching from ocean to ocean and North to South, opening up the countryside to urban dwellers. Electric cars had a driving range of 30 to 40 miles (50 to 65 km) and limited charging infrastructure, which made it unsuitable for longer travel. While cheap gas was becoming readily available in rural America with the expansion of gas stations everywhere, only a few Americans outside of cities had access to electricity at the time. By 1935, electric cars became extinct with market takeover of gasoline cars.
 
Following this early boom and bust, research and development on electric cars continued as a means for reducing air pollution in the 1960s and fuel dependency in the aftermath of 1973 oil crisis. Starting in the 1990s, California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) requirements have incentivised car manufacturers to meet a threshold of annual electric car sales by distributing ZEV credits. 
 
It wasn’t until the end of the century that electric vehicles began their comeback. In 1997, the Toyota Prius became the first mass-produced hybrid electric vehicle. In 2006, the Tesla Roadsterwas introduced by upstart auto manufacturer Tesla Motors, based in Silicon Valley, and the fully electric luxury sports car began to change public perceptions. In 2011, Nissan produced the Leaf, marketed as the “leading environmentally-friendly affordable family car”.  
 
By 2017, traditional automakers including BMW, General Motors and Volkswagen were all investing in EVs. After a decade of EV early adopters, electric vehicles are expected to reach mainstreammarket by early 2020s. Volvo recently committed to producing exclusively electric and hybrid models from 2019. Britain and France have announced plans to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars by 2040, while Norway has proposed an ambitious target to phase out gasoline cars by 2025.
Annex 2 – Country case studies

China
In 2016, China was the biggest electric car market, with more than 40% of EVs sold globally sold in China. More than 336,000 new electric cars were registered in China in 2016. China also has the largest stock of other electric vehicles, with more than 200 million electric motorcycles and bikes, and over 300,000 electric buses. 
 
China’s rapid economic growth has driven substantial growth of vehicle ownership in the last two decades. In 2016, China became the largest auto market with more than 24 million vehicle sales annually, and in 2014, transport accounted for 8.6% of carbon dioxide emissions in China.
 
Vehicle emissions are the main contributor to local air pollution, which causes around 300,000 premature deaths in China every year. In 2010, the cost of the health impact of air pollution in China was approximately $1.4 trillion, according to one study. Decarbonising transport is central to efforts to cut air pollution.
 
Chinese climate targets depend on the country generating low-carbon electricity to power an electric fleet, but the high carbon intensity of China’s electricity (over 700g CO2/kWh) currently limits the benefits of EVs for emission targets.
 
The government offers generous financial incentives to accelerate the uptake of EVs. Tax breaks on EV purchases range from CNY 35,000 to CNY 60,000 ($5,000 to $8,000) and EVs enjoy more relaxed licensing requirements in seven major urban centres, as well as local benefits including access to bus lanes, free charging and parking.
 
In 2009, the Chinese government ran large-scale pilot projects in 10 Chinese cities to boost take-up of EVs. The Thousands of Vehicles, Tens of Cities (TVTC) Program has now been expanded to 25 cities, with public utility vehicles including buses, taxis and postal fleets prioritised. In 2014, the government specified minimum requirements for vehicle purchases of electric vehicles by government departments and public institutions. Between 2014 and 2016, 30% of vehiclespurchased by central government institutions were electric.
 
By 2020, China aims to install 4.3 million private EV charging outlets, 0.5 million public chargers for cars and 850 intercity fast-charging stations covering more than 12,000 cities. Local municipal utilities have already opened more than 27,000 charging stations. The number of public charging stations grew from 1,122 in 2010 to 150,000 in 2016, and private charging stations reached 300,000 in 2016.
 
Costa Rica
Costa Rica plans to lead the transition to electric mobility in Latin America. The country is committed to reducing GHG emissions by 25% by 2030. The rapid deployment of electric vehicles is a key part of this plan, and a proposed Electric Mobility Bill aims to accelerate the market uptake of EVs in the next five years.
 
There are more than two million vehicles in Costa Rica, which has a population of five million. They are responsible for two-thirds of Costa Rica’s oil consumption and 34% of the country’s total carbon dioxide emissions. 99% of Costa Rica’s electricity generation came from renewables in 2015, so electrification of the vehicle fleet offers a clear pathway to emissions reductions. Currently around 90% of vehicles run on gasoline and diesel, with only 1% of all vehicles hybrid or electric, and 5.5% running on alternative fuels such as hydrogen and biofuel.
 
80% of those vehicles are older than 10 years and petrol used in the country has a high sulphur content (UNEP), creating air pollution problems in larger urban areas. A 2016 World Bank studyconcluded air pollution cost Costa Rica’s health system around $748 million in 2013.
 
In 2006, the government passed legislation establishing substantial tax concessions for electric and hybrid cars. But take-up has been low, with less than 1,000 EV and hybrid vehicles registered. Further legislation in 2014 secured 100% financing from the Bank of Costa Rica for car owners to replace their gasoline cars. In 2016, the government introduced the Bill to Promote the Use of Electric Vehicles in Costa Rica which includes further tax exemptions and requires public and private parking lots to provide preferential spaces for hybrid and EVs.
 
The proposed Electric Mobility Bill is inspired by Norway’s “all-of-the-above” EV policy, and seeks to put 100,000 EVs on the road in the next five years. If it is to succeed, electric charginginfrastructure in the country will require more investment, with only eight EV charging stations set up at the end of 2016. But with 93% of Costa Ricans living in detached homes with private parking, overnight charging at home should be possible.

Norway
Norway has achieved the highest market penetration of EVs globally because of its strong “all-of-the-above” EV policy. The Norwegian government is discussing new plans to phase out gasoline cars to get 100% electric vehicles cars by 2025. 
 
29% of new car registrations in Norway are electric, the highest level of market share of electric cars worldwide. Almost 40% of passenger cars registered in 2016 were hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuel cars. By December 2016, Norway had more than 100,000 battery powered electric cars on the road, for a population of 5.2 million people.
 
The transport sector is responsible for around 30% of Norway’s carbon dioxide emissions. Norway’s electricity system is 99% renewably powered by hydropower. Norway’s EV fleet uses about 5-6% of the country’s annual hydroelectric production, reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by about 200,000 tonnes. The 2018-19 National Transport Plan aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions from all transport 50% by 2030.
 
Norway plans to phase out gasoline cars entirely. The country expects to have 400,000 EVs on the road by 2020, and aims for 100% of new electric vehicle sales to be zero emission by 2025.
 
The government has introduced a series of policies designed to make EVs attractive to consumers, including incentives such as tax breaks, exemptions and waivers on road tolls and ferry fees. EVs are exempt from car acquisition tax, which is around NOK 100,000 ($11,600), as well as 25% of value-added tax (VAT) on car purchases and zero VAT on leases. Norway plans to keep these EV taxation schemes in place until 2020.
 
EV drivers may also use bus and taxi lanes. Until 2016, Norway offered free parking to electric car owners, with charging often offered for free by local municipalities. In 2016, Norway had more than 6,600 public charging points across the country. The world’s largest EV charging station – a partnership between Fortum and Tesla – is located near Oslo. The Norwegian government also runs a program to finance fast-charging stations every 50 km on main roads, and contributes to deployment incentives for public chargers. Rapid charging points can charge a Nissan Leaf to 80% in under 30 minutes.

United Kingdom
The UK has committed to low-carbon transport, with strong financial incentives to support the uptake of electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and low carbon vehicle technologies. The UK aims for all cars sold to be zero-emission by 2040. 
 
Transport was responsible for 26% of UK GHG emissions in 2016. Rising demand for travel and slow progress in improving the fuel efficiency of new vehicles has slowed progress on decarbonising the sector. To meet emission reduction targets, transport emissions need to fall by an average of 4% a year to 2030.
 
The UK government wants the UK road transport sector to have net-zero emissions by 2050. This will require all new cars and vans sold from 2040 onwards to have zero emissions. Current take-up of electric vehicles falls behind government commitments, which aim for 9.9% of all new cars to be electric by 2020 – current forecasts indicate EV sales will reach only half of this target. But demand for electric vehicles has risen sharply due to government grant schemes, from 3,500 plug-in electric cars in 2013 to more than 100,000 by the end of May 2017. In 2016, EVs and hybrids together were 4.4% of all new vehicles sold.
 
The Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) was established in 2013 to simplify policy development for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV) – vehicles emitting less than 75g/km of carbon dioxide and capable of zero exhaust gas emissions for ten miles. OLEV provided over £400 million to develop ULEV technology and encourage more customers to buy EVs. The government has also announced£500 million to boost the ULEV market in 2015-2020.
 
The 2016 Modern Transport Bill was proposed to facilitate access to electric vehicles, boost EV uptake and minimise the cost of charging. The bill included government funding of £80 million for charging infrastructure, including grants to install charge points at home and work. In February 2017, the government replaced it with the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill to add provisions about insurance for driverless cars and electric vehicle infrastructure. By April 2017 the government had awarded more than £109 million to supporting driverless and electric vehicle technologies.
 
The UK network of EV charging points has expanded from a few hundred stations in 2011 to 12,760 in June 2017. There are 724 rapid public charging points and a total of 2,320 rapid connectors in these locations.

United States
The Obama administration endorsed electric vehicles, distributing billions in grants for the development of the US EV industry and expansion of an electric charging network. But the Trump administration’s plans to ease Obama’s auto emission standards might hamper the uptake of EVs. 
 
In 2011, the Obama administration announced a series of new federal policies to reach the goal of one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. Annual electric vehicle sales in the US grew from 17,731 cars in 2011 to 144,035 in 2016, with more than half a million cars sold over those six years, and although the target of one million was not realised, the EV industry benefited immensely from billions in grants for the installation of EV charging infrastructure and research and development on manufacturing techniques and next-generation batteries.
 
The US federal government has a range of incentives to support EVs, including tax credits of up to $7,500, which will be available until 200,000 EVs are sold in the US by each manufacturer. Obama also introduced a national “Alternative Fuels Corridor” to accelerate deployment of EV charging infrastructure.
 
Just before Obama left office, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accelerated its review of emissions and fuel efficiency standards for light-duty vehicles. These aim to double the fuel economy of vehicles to 55 miles per gallon by 2025, save car buyers $1.7 trillion at the pump and cut six billion metric tons of GHG emissions. The expanded regulation falls under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, and this was the first time a president had used these to address transport-related emissions. Tighter fuel standards would push auto manufacturers to adopt lower emitting fuel technologies and produce more electric vehicles. 
 
In March 2017, Trump announced he would order the EPA to redo its review, and the DOT to devise less stringent vehicle standards for 2022 to 2025. The decision came after meeting with auto executives who argued CAFE fuel economy targets are too difficult to meet when gas prices are lower and demand for SUVs is going up. Trump’s new rules could enable automakers to shift their production of electric vehicles back to gasoline cars.
 
Even if Trump puts the brakes on US support for EVs, action will continue at a state level. The Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program requires car manufacturers to meet a threshold of annual electric car and truck sales. Originally a California state regulation, it has been adopted by eight other states, which pledge to collectively have 3.3 million zero emission cars on the road by 2025.
 
From 2008 to 2016, the number of EV charging stations in the US has grown 40-fold, from 500 to 16,000. In July 2016, the Department of Transport (DOT) dedicated $4.5 billion to building a network of fast charging corridors covering 25,000 miles of highways across 35 states, which would guarantee fast charging for EV drivers every 50 miles.

[1] In this briefing, the terms “electric vehicles”, “electric cars” and “EVs” refer to light road transport vehicles (cars and light trucks) that are zero-emission and capable of running on electric power for a reasonable range. The main electric car types are battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell vehicles (PHEVs and FCEVs). (IEA Global EV Outlook, 2016)
[2] See country case studies at the end of the briefing for more information on emissions reduction potential of EVs by country. This section uses the US case study to illustrate the impact of EVs on carbon emissions from road transport.
[3] CTI’s NDC_EV scenario assumes a climate policy effort in line with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and lower EV costs (CTI, Expect the Unexpected report, 2017, p. 24).
[4] Ford, Toyota, Audi, BMW and Nissan are planning to test self-driving cars on public roads in late 2017; Uber, Lyft and Google Waymo are testing cars in Pittsburgh, Arizona and California. (Business Insider, January 17, 2017)
[5] RethinkX sees the approval of autonomous cars in 2020 as the key point of disruption, after which the market share of ride-hailing companies like Uber, Lyft and Didi is expected to increase dramatically. Their fleets will transition from human-driven gasoline cars to autonomous electric cars, to benefit from longer (500,000-mile) vehicle lifetimes and lower maintenance, energy, finance and insurance costs.
[6] In 1914, the Standard Oil opened 34 standardised gas stations along the West Coast, which was later expanded with new gasoline pumps installed in front of hardware stores, warehouses and other retailers.

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