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

Lessons learned on early electric vehicle fast-charging deployments

An overview of electric vehicle fast-charging installed around the world and what the future might hold going forward, including charging power, grid constraints, installation costs, and business models.

2018.08.01 | White paper
The continued transition to electric vehicles in U.S. cities

Analysis of electric vehicle market development in the U.S. and the policy and promotion actions that are driving it.

2018.07.24 | White paper
Beyond road vehicles: Survey of zero-emission technology options across the transport sector

Discusses the potential of zero-emission technologies to reduce emissions from non-road transport, including aviation, maritime, off-road, and rail.

2018.07.18 | Working paper
See all publications

Staff blog

The future is electric, but why’s it taking so long?

Many automakers have shared details on their plans for an electric future. How does it stack up to public policy goals?

Staff