The G7 nations failed to set targets for EV sales in their push towards the electrification of transport at their latest meeting, pledging only to “intensify efforts in enhancing the offer of more sustainable transport modes”, the group said in its final communiqué today.
“In our transport sectors, we commit to sustainable, decarbonised mobility and to scaling up zero emission vehicle technologies, including buses, trains, shipping and aviation,” the G7 said in the communiqué.
“We recognise that this will require dramatically increasing the pace of the global decarbonisation of the road transport sector throughout the 2020s, and beyond. This includes support for accelerating the roll out of necessary infrastructure, such as charging and fueling infrastructure and enhancing the offer of more sustainable transport modes, including public transport, shared mobility, cycling and walking. We commit to accelerate the transition away from new sales of diesel and petrol cars to promote the uptake of zero emission vehicles.”
UK is among the few countries that have set themselves targets for the phase-out of vehicles with internal combustion engines, but at a group level, it seems other views have prevailed. The country plans to ban the sales of ICE vehicles by 2030 and only allow the sale of zero-emission vehicles from 2035.
This would be challenging enough for one country to do, let alone half a dozen, even if they are among the biggest economies in the world. The mass uptake of electric vehicles has been hailed as one of the pillars of the energy transition, but recently attention has been drawn to some of the challenges it presents.
An adequate supply of raw materials such as copper and steel, as well as battery materials, is one of the problems. Related to it is cost: a shortage of any crucial material in the manufacturing of electric vehicles would lead to higher prices at a time when buyers need all the incentives they can get to buy an EV. There is also a political risk, since most of the processing capacity for key EV battery elements is in China.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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There are currently 2 billion internal combustion engines (ICEs) on the roads worldwide compared with 10.9 million EVs or 0.55% of the total.
And yet, there is extraordinary hype about EVs by the media. But when Akio Toyoda, the President of Toyota, the world’s biggest car company, says there is too much hype surrounding EVs and also notes that the electricity needed to charge EVs would strain grids and increase carbon emissions, the world should listen attentively.
The ease of charging and also the availability of charging points are always on EV drivers’ minds particularly when they are embarking on a long journey of hundreds of miles. Therefore, it is not surprising that 18% of EV drivers and 20% of plug-in buyers in California are switching back to gasoline cars.
There will be a need for some 300 million charging points by 2040 needing estimated cumulative investment of over $589 billion in the next two decades.
This is one very major reason why EVs will never prevail over ICEs. The other is the need for global expansion of electricity generation costing trillions of dollars to be able to charge the supposedly millions of EVs that will be on the roads. How would this expansion be sourced: solar, nuclear or hydrocarbon?
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London