Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are several times more efficient in converting energy into vehicle movement than conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles. They are much more compatible with renewable energy sources. They can produce no emissions at the vehicle tailpipe and much lower life-cycle (“well to wheel”) emissions. Accordingly, businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations are turning to electric vehicles to dramatically lower oil use, reduce carbon pollution, eliminate local air pollution, and spur economic development. Long-term planning scenarios indicate that the global vehicle fleet will have to be almost entirely made up of electric vehicles, powered mostly by renewable sources, by 2050 if the world is to avoid worst-case global climate-change scenarios.

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About the program

Electric vehicles are several times more efficient in converting energy into vehicle movement than conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles. They are much more compatible with renewable energy sources. They can produce no emissions at the vehicle tailpipe and much lower life-cycle (“well to wheel”) emissions. Accordingly, businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations are turning to electric vehicles to dramatically lower oil use, reduce carbon pollution, eliminate local air pollution, and spur economic development. Long-term planning scenarios indicate that the global vehicle fleet will have to be almost entirely made up of electric vehicles, powered mostly by renewable sources, by 2050 if the world is to avoid worst-case global climate-change scenarios.

The ICCT’s electric vehicle program aims to understand and describe what policies and incentives are most effective in the early growth stages for the global electric vehicle market. We analyze trends in electric-vehicle technologies and in vehicle markets; evaluate how regulation, tax incentives, non-fiscal promotional policies, and infrastructure are helping to drive the electric vehicle market; and compare the different policy approaches across countries and cities around the world to better understand the emerging best practices to accelerate the transition to electric drive. In addition to our research, we work directly with governments, particularly through the Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance, to inform and support practical policy making that can facilitate the necessary technological transition to a zero-emission transportation sector.

Impact of the increased penetration of electric vehicles on the CO2 emissions of the remaining combustion vehicles in the fleet under three electric vehicle accounting scenarios. The figure shows the extent to which the conventional combustion (i.e., non-plug-in electric) portion of the vehicle fleet’s emissions are impacted by the potential regulatory incentives in the 2025–2030 time frame.

Integrating electric vehicles within
U.S. and European effciency regulations

Recent publications

Power play: How governments are spurring the electric vehicle industry

Assesses where electric vehicles and their batteries are manufactured and sold, and the underlying policies in place to sustain growth in the new technology around the world.

2018.05.15 | White paper
California’s continued electric vehicle market development

Summarizes the state of the electric vehicle market development in California through 2017, quantifying growth across California cities, comparing that growth with other US markets, and putting it in context with broader California policy goals.

2018.05.07 | Briefing
中国城市新能源乘用车激励政策评估

Focuses on the new energy passenger vehicle market in China's cities, evaluates the implementation and effectiveness of local incentive policies, and analyzes the potential of future sustainability.

2018.04.12 | White paper
See all publications

Staff blog

Off the hook: Europe's current ZLEV proposal would allow CO2 emissions of new combustion engine vehicles to increase

Even though targets for low- and zero-emission vehicles are an innovative approach for EU standards, they could undercut the climate benefit of the regulation. Fortunately, with some slight modifications EU regulators could effectively promote both fuel efficiency and electrification.

Staff