UK, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Quebec, & 8 US States Aim For 100% Zero-Emission Cars, Trucks, & Vans By 2050

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Originally published on EV Obsession.

The UK government has agreed to work towards the goal of ensuring that all new cars, buses, and vans sold in 2050 are electrics as part of a new initiative that’s being supported by Norway, Holland, and Germany as well, according to recent reports.

These national commitments to the new initiative were accompanied by regional commitments from the US states of California, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont; as well as from the Canadian province of Quebec.

UK electric car charging home

The Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Alliance — as it’s been dubbed — also calls for the governments involved to pool “best practices” and research findings in order to better make progress on the achievement of the alliance’s goal.

The UK’s Transport Minister, Andrew Jones, commented that the new alliance would help the UK continue growing its “zero emission vehicle” market — currently one of the fastest growing in the world.

“The UK already has the largest market for ultra-low emission vehicles in the EU, and the fourth largest in the world, and today’s pledge reaffirms our commitment to ensuring almost every car and van is a zero emission vehicle by 2050,” he noted. “Electric cars are cheaper and greener to run and we are making them more affordable, spending more than £600 million between 2015 and 2020 to support the uptake and manufacturing of ultra-low emission vehicles here in the UK.

“By leading international efforts on this issue, we are playing our part in helping achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions of more than one billion tonnes per year across the world by 2050.”

Image Credit: © Michal Wnuk

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

26 thoughts on “UK, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Quebec, & 8 US States Aim For 100% Zero-Emission Cars, Trucks, & Vans By 2050

  • 2050 doesn’t sound fast enough but at least setting any sort of goal allows infrastructure and incentives to be created that will hopefully lead to the goal being hit early.

    • Not only doesn’t it sound fast enough, but I bet that goal gets eclipsed by events on the ground. It just doesn’t take 35 years for any successful new consumer technology to capture the market. Either EV’s get their price and range to a level that is competitive, in which case they take over in about a decade, or they fail to capture any significant part of the market.

      • Precisely. Anybody old enough to win a seat in parliament has been around long enough to know the drill. We’ve watched it happen dozens of times: a product having some clear advantage captures 1% of the market – then doubles market share every year or two. Seven doublings and it owns the market. You don’t have to be Elon Musk to do the math.

        So why set a goal for 2050? I can think of possible reasons.

        One, they want to help the process along, without being called radical by entrenched interests.

        Two, they don’t have the budget or the confidence to rapidly invest infrastructure on this – perhaps all they want to do at this stage is have a talk fest – then take credit for the change that’s happening anyway.

        Three, they don’t want to upset the luddite camp, whose vote they may need. “Couldn’t they have waited till the old people died, before introducing the metric system”.

      • Yes. 5 to 10 years for buses, 10 years for vans, 10 to 15 years for cars. No bets on heavy trucks as the technology isn’t there yet. But the changeover will be quick, as these vehicles have a short working life.

        • According to wiki we went from effectively 0 cars to 828 cars per 1000 people in just over 100 years –
          I am sure there are some nice infographics out there somewhere. I would have thought that we won’t see such a rapid uptake because people are going from a base of already having a car but I agree, it’s still going to be very quick.

          • Don’t forget to separate the two different stats: percentage of sales and percentage of cars on the road. All these discussion are about percentage of production/sales. There will of course be a tail end lag while we wait for the old fuel burners to die – just as you still see CRT TVs about the place, but never in an electronics store.

          • I think early auto’s are actually a good illustration of the power of a new superior technology. They did, in fact, take over the whole market in just about a decade at the beginning of the 20th century. But the market at the time was just horse-drawn carriages, which were used by just a small fraction of the population for drayage, or by the very richest people who could afford to keep a stable and horses, and by rural farmers. The typical city dweller had no place of need for a car. Following on that success cars went on to completely reshape our cities, draining their dense, walkable fabric and spreading the population across a far-flung landscape. They also cause the country to build an enormous network of highways and freeways. So getting to the ubiquitousness that they have today required much more than just taking over a market, it required basically rebuilding out entire society from the ground up. And the power of the technology was enough to bring about these momentous changes.

            EV’s, on the other hand, can just jump right in and take over with very little needed in terms of building out infrastructure- just a few charging stations. It should go quickly.

          • Horses were still in use into the late 1940s, so it did take longer than a decade.

          • The average age of US cars is only 13 years. That means that from the point at which EVs dominate sales at least half ICEVs will be off the roads in less than 15 years.

            Additionally, about 50% of all US driving is done with cars that are five years old or newer. FF mileage will drop faster than the actual car count.

          • As the number of gasmobiles on the road drops, the number of gas stations will drop. This will accelerate the final elimination of gasmobiles, as nobody wants a car they can’t fuel.

            (This didn’t happen with horses, because you can feed them and water them anywhere in the countryside.)

    • The first job is to get (almost) everyone agreeing that there is a job to be done and that we need to get started.

      As we start doing the job we’ll find it easier and easier to accomplish. Things will speed up, almost certainly. We’ll discover it takes less effort, costs less, and provides more benefits than we thought at the beginning.

      • Mission accomplished in Paris.

  • I’d love to buy a plug-in hybrid now. But I don’t have a lot of money so where’s the equivalent of a 3 year old, low mileage, second hand Ford Focus?

    And that’s the catch (or at least one of them), innit.

    • Wait three years.

      • You think 2nd hand BMW i3RE or the Golf/A3 hybrids are going to be down below 10k in 3 years? Seems unlikely.

    • That would be the 2012 and 2013 Volts coming in after 3 year leases.

      They’re plentiful, and cheap. Well, not as cheap as an off-lease gasser, but still very affordable.

      • Sorry, should have said UK. No Volts in the UK. The equivalent Vauxhall Ampera is being dropped.

        • Oh, the UK is harder. Sorry.

          I’ve been looking at this. In the current state of the market, with the gas savings and a huge unserved demand for plugin cars, the used battery-electrics and plugin hybrids are in high demand, which is keeping their prices elevated. At some point there will be enough new battery-electrics and plugin hybrids at lower prices to satisfy the “hardcore” market and the used prices will drop. Not sure when.

  • The headline mentions trucks, but the story implies they are not included.

  • I don’t have concerns about the technology advancing rapidly enough to do the job but would be concerned that there’ll be continued resistance to change from auto dealers.

    Their cosy position needs to be challenged and broken.

    • The more resistance from auto dealers, the larger percentage market share Tesla walks off with. (Unless Google or Apple or Faraday follows Tesla’s direct sales model, of course.)

  • My projections say that all new cars sold will be electric by around 2040 if the government does absolutely nothing. So this is really unambitious.

  • If I remember correctly a lot of people in the UK park in the streets, I’m wondering how these people will charge at home. Or are they going to string charging cables across the sidewalks?

Comments are closed.