Cities are accelerating the global shift to electric cars, with twenty frontrunners leading the charge, according to a new report Electric vehicle capitals of the world: What markets are leading the transition to electric? by the International Council on Clean Transportation. These twenty “electric vehicle capitals” account for 40 percent of the world’s electric vehicles, even though they represent just 8 percent of the world automobile market.
“A lot of governments are talking about how quickly they can phase out combustion. This research shows the policy tools to accelerate electric vehicle uptake today and start to make the transition to electric a reality,” said the ICCT program director for electric vehicle research, Nic Lutsey, regarding the implications of the work.
The report finds that the geographically diverse Electric Vehicle Capitals demonstrate how smart policy tools can effectively overcome consumer barriers to electric cars. Regulations in Electric Vehicle Capitals ensure sufficient automaker investments are made and that electric vehicle models become available for consumers. Incentives help overcome the near-term cost barrier for electric vehicles and the build-out of charging infrastructure overcomes any potential convenience issues.
Although many of Electric Vehicle Capital policies are similar, each has developed innovative promotion policies that are tailored to each market context. Local projects in many of the cities include electric fleets (car sharing, taxis, buses), parking perks and preferential lane access for electric cars, and consumer education campaigns to expand awareness among prospective new car buyers. Cities in China have even administered vehicle registration policies to restrict combustion cars in favor of electric cars.
Dale Hall, Hongyang Cui, Nic Lutsey, (2017). Electric vehicle capitals of the world: What markets are leading the transition to electric? (.pdf)