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ANALYSIS - Towards the big target: Ending car emissions by 2040

ANALYSIS - Towards the big target: Ending car emissions by 2040
Many countries have announced goals related to zero emission targets and electric vehicles, with electric vehicle market is growing day by day

By Huseyin Emre Eseceli

The author is a MEng. at University of Southampton

SOUTHAMPTON (AA) - Governments and automakers have united around new targets to massively increase the use of electric vehicles at the Glasgow climate talks at the beginning of November.

The declaration, made at the COP 26 climate summit in Glasgow, urged signatories to accelerate the global transition from fossil fuel-burning cars to zero-emission vehicles, including electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The phasing out of emission-free vehicles is not only aimed at a sustainable environment, it is also a new phase for electric vehicle market.

The global electric vehicle fleet has expanded significantly over the past decade, thanks to supportive policies and technological advances.

- How come the ending car emissions is necessary?

According to most scientists, climate change is the biggest threat in the 21st Century. One of the biggest causes of climate change is carbon dioxide.

Petrol and diesel cars emit a lot of carbon dioxide, so banning their sale is a crucial element in the fight against climate change.

- What will substitute petrol and diesel cars?

Petrol and diesel cars will be replaced by ‘zero emissions vehicles’ (ZEVs) that emit no carbon dioxide and other pollutants while being driven. Most people will switch to a battery-powered electric vehicle (EV).

Many automakers have begun to shift their R&D and production facilities from developing gasoline and diesel cars to electric cars. Many have announced that by 2030 the entire range will be battery powered. Large amounts of funds are allocated by the private and public sectors to the construction of the charging infrastructure.

- What is the date of ban of selling carbon emission vehicles of countries?

Many countries have announced goals related to zero emission targets and electric vehicles. Norway aims for 100% of cars to be either electric or hybrid by 2025, and the Netherlands has announced plans to ban petrol and diesel vehicles. In Germany, internal combustion engines will be banned by 2030. Similarly, France and the UK said they will end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

The European Union in July 2021 proposed an effective ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035, aiming to accelerate the switch to zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs) as part of a global warming fighting package. The EU executive, the European Commission, proposed a 55% cut in CO2 emissions from cars by 2030 versus 2021 levels, much higher than the existing target of a 37.5% reduction by then. The Commission estimates 80-120 billion euros ($95-$142 billion) will need to be spent on public and private chargers across the EU by 2040.

The UK will be among the first to do so after the government announced plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. The UK government has confirmed that from 2030 it will ban the sale of new cars powered only by petrol or diesel engines. Under Theresa May, the UK Government had initially introduced the ban on new petrol and diesel car sales with a 2040 deadline. Following criticism from environmental groups, including his own Climate Change Committee, Prime Minister Boris Johnson took action in February to change the deadline to 2035.

The government has allocated £20 million in funding to assist research and development competition for EV technology innovations, particularly in charging infrastructure and battery recycling. Some plug-in hybrid cars powered by both electric and petrol (or diesel) engines will remain on sale until 2035. The sale of other road vehicles with gasoline or diesel engines will be banned in due time. The ban is currently in the proposal stage. While it will take several years for the legislation to be voted on in Parliament before it becomes the law of the country, nothing is expected to prevent the ban from becoming law.

China is also one of the countries on the list to drive fossil fuel cars off the road. Chinese officials have said that by 2035 all new vehicles sold in China must be powered by 'new energy'. They announced that half of them will be electric, fuel cell or plug-in hybrid vehicles, and the remaining 50% will be hybrid vehicles. China is also a huge market for electric vehicles. Globally in 2019, about half of all electric and other new energy cars were sold in China.

The move comes after Washington State legislature passed the 'Clean Cars 2030' bill which targets all passenger vehicles of model year 2030 or thereafter to be battery-powered only.

Other countries considering banning fossil fuel cars are also shown in the map below.

In parallel with the statements made by the countries, giant car manufacturers announced that they will not produce vehicles that consume fossil fuels in the near future.

- What does the Glasgow climate summit aim for?

One of their breakthroughs at the COP26 Summit, which gathered World Leaders in Glasgow, was those 30 countries including the United Kingdom, Turkey, Denmark etc. agreed to work together to make zero-emission vehicles the new normal by making them accessible, affordable and sustainable in all regions by 2040.

According to declaration, governments, commercial fleet owners and operators, investors, financial institutions will work to ensure that all new car and pickup truck sales are zero emissions by 2040 or earlier, or by 2035 at the latest in leading markets.

The agreement signed by governments and city authorities across the world commits signatories to ending the sale of new cars that produce emissions in "leading markets" by 2035, and globally by 2040. Investors and banks said they would support the transition, and some fleet owners pledged to make their car and van fleets green.

On the other hand, the fact that some countries were not included in the agreement drove automakers away from the process. The fact that Germany, as well as the USA and China, was not included in the expected agreement was a reason why many automakers gave up on the agreement.

European countries and the United Kingdom are reaffirming their determination to phase out emission vehicles while reinforcing their initiatives for production increase.

Electric vehicle market is growing.

The international market for electric and hybrid vehicles has gained impressive momentum in recent years, with environmental concerns, growing awareness of the importance of environmental sustainability, and an understanding of the industry's long-term economic benefits.

Over the past decade, EVs have been a key technology for reducing air pollution in densely populated areas and a promising option to contribute to energy diversification and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.

According to Tracking Report of IEA (2021), “Electric car sales reached a record 3 million in 2020, up 40% from 2019. This strong growth was a stark contrast with general car market sluggishness globally, with overall car sales down 16% due to the Covid-19 crisis. After a decade of rapid growth, there are now over 10 million electric cars on the road, representing ~1% of the global car stock. For 2030, the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario projects 300 million electric cars on the road and they account for over 60% of new car sales, compared with only 4.6% in 2020. Early market data for 2021 sales suggests rapid growth in major markets.”

In the Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS) of IEA, “the global EV stock expands from around 8 million in 2019 to 50 million by 2025 and close to 140 million vehicles by 2030, corresponding to an annual average growth rate close to 30%. Thanks to this continuous increase in sales share, EVs are expected to account for about 7% of the global vehicle fleet by 2030. EV sales reach almost 14 million in 2025 and 25 million vehicles in 2030, representing respectively 10% and 16% of all road vehicle sales.”

This exceeded most estimates from earlier in the year and was largely attributable to supportive regulatory frameworks and financial incentives along with an expansion of the number of electric vehicle (EV) models and the decreasing costs of batteries.

According to Irle Roland form EV-Volumes, a total of 2,65 million new EVs found new owners during the first half of 2021, an increase of +168 % compared to 2020. Including these, EV-Volumes estimates that sales of 6,4 million EVs in 2021, a growth of 98 % over 2020.

Consultancy AlixPartners estimates carmakers and suppliers globally will invest $330 billion in electrification from 2021-2025, up 41% from its estimate of $250 billion for 2020-2024.

Turkey is preparing to become one of the important manufacturers in the electric vehicle market.

The shift to zero-emissions electric cars is gathering pace as authorities around the world act to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. Hence, the electric car market is growing quickly. The transition to electric vehicles is going much faster than anybody had ever anticipated.

Turkey, which came to the market with its own vehicle, TOGG, started to make a name for itself in the market with the know-how and human capacity it has accumulated so far. While many countries ban the sale of fossil fuel cars and manufacturers give up on fossil fuel vehicle production, Turkey wants to take advantage of this transition period as the new actor in the market. Considering the current production possibilities, the demand for electric vehicles that will emerge in the near future does not seem possible for many automakers.

In addition to government incentives to promote the Turkish e-vehicle market, including special consumption tax (SCT) reduction for electric and hybrid vehicles, 2020 has been an important year for the Turkish e-vehicle industry and Turkey, the first domestic vehicle brand Automobile Joint Venture Group (TOGG), which consists of holdings including Anadolu Group, BMC, Kök Group, Turkcell, Zorlu Holding and the Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB).

TOGG, was officially launched in December 2019. President Erdogan has stressed the importance of the project and pledged full state support to complete the project "one way or another". One of the first TOGG prototypes is the C-SUV model (in the photo). In addition to this model, TOGG aims to develop electric, autonomous and connected vehicles with mobility ecosystems and reduced emissions. According to the plan, the production plant in the city of Bursa is to be completed in 18 months, with the first vehicle coming off the production line at the end of 2022. The plant's maximum production capacity is expected to reach 175,000 vehicles per year, with a total of 1 million units of five different models to be produced by 2030.

In the past, Turkish industry was quite small compared to other countries with more developed vehicle infrastructure. Despite the failure to close this gap in the past, the launch of TOGG represents a great leap forward for Turkey. The public and private partnerships initiated by TOGG can make Turkey an important producer of electric hybrid and autonomous vehicles, reduce foreign dependency economically, and help Turkey overcome environmental problems such as carbon emissions. Moreover, Turkey may become an important supplier for the supply of electric vehicles that will emerge in the near future. Although Turkey's inability to produce its own vehicle for many years has left it behind in vehicle market, Turkey, which catches the transformation process of the market on time with high quality electric cars TOGG, will be an important manufacturer in the new period.


CMS, Turkey: Energy Efficiency Week - The new Turkish electric car TOGG to be launched before 2022.

IEA, Electric Car Sales Share in the Net Zero Scenario, 2000-2030, IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/charts/electric-car-sales-share-in-the-net-zero-scenario-2000-2030.

IEA (2020), Global EV Outlook 2020: Entering the decade of electric drive?, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/d394399e-en.

IEA (2021), Electric Vehicles, IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/reports/electric-vehicles.

EV-Volumes, The Electric Vehicle World Sales Data Bas, https://www.ev-volumes.com/

United Nations Climate Changes, Glasgow Climate Change Conference – October-November 2021.

*Opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of the Anadolu Agency.

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