The road ahead for electric vehicles

Author: Michael Schneider

Electric vehicles are gaining traction in light of recent announcements to ban petrol and diesel car sales in France and the United Kingdom by 2040. Despite continuously growing numbers of electric vehicles sold and in total on the world’s roads, their share remains as of now negligible. However, this is forecast to change over the next few decades. Electric vehicles might reach competitiveness with internal combustion engine cars as soon as in the 2020s. The electric car statistics are expected to further improve with significant shares of car sales and a millionfold car fleet in 2030. Nevertheless, a variety of challenges remains to be tackled. This includes for example the development of an adequate charging infrastructure and addressing environmental and ethical issues in the production of minerals that serve as basic components of electric cars. Out of a climate perspective, compliance with the goals of the Paris Agreement requires even more expeditious action than currently predicted. Thereby, a major prerequisite for the reduction of the carbon footprint in the transport sector through the electrification of cars is the decarbonisation of the electricity sector proceeds – electric vehicles are only as clean as their power source.