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

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
Ensuring driving on electricity is cheaper than driving on gasoline

Provides a brief overview of the energy cost per mile for a vehicle using gasoline versus the energy cost per mile using electricity in the United States. 

2018.02.26 | Briefing
Effects of battery manufacturing on electric vehicle life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions

Reviews recent research regarding greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. We analyze this research in the overall context of life-cycle emissions of electric cars as compared to conventional internal combustion vehicles in Europe. Finally, we discuss the primary drivers of battery manufacturing emissions and how these emissions could be further mitigated in the future.

2018.02.09 | Briefing
See all publications

Staff blog

2017 year in review: European diesel down, electric vehicles on the rise

News outlets have compiled their "best-ofs"—or more likely "worst-ofs"—lists for 2017. Here we hop on the bandwagon and look back at last year in the European vehicle market. Demand for low-emission vehicles continued to grow while diesel sales continued to fall, thanks in part to a smorgasbord of policies to clean up road transportation.

Staff