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Fuel Economy Standards Won’t Be Met Without 16% Electric Car Market Share By 2020 (World Energy Council)

If the fuel-economy standards set by many regulators around the world are to be achieved, then electric vehicle market share will need to rise to 16% by the year 2020, according to a new report from the UN-accredited global energy body known as the World Energy Council.

fuel economy 2

As it stands now, of course, electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) comprise less than 1% share of the global passenger vehicle automotive market. The new report makes it clear, though, that electric vehicle technologies should be considered to be a central part of any policies or strategies based around lowering transportation sector emissions.

fuel economy 3

To provide some background to the report — the US, the EU, and China have all set fuel-economy improvements targets of around 30% for the time period of 2014–2020. It’s very unlikely, according to most analysts, that these targets can be achieved solely through improvements to new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle design changes. The gap between what can be achieved solely through ICE technology improvements and requirements has been dubbed by some as the “EV gap.”

The report notes that this “EV gap” is 1.4 millions vehicles (10% of estimated 2020 passenger vehicle sales) in the European Union; 0.9 million in the US; and 5.3 million in China (22% of projected 2020 sales).

fuel economy 1

The Managing Director of Accenture Strategy, Stuart Solomon, commented: “To help close the emissions gap through more widespread adoption of EVs, utilities need to play a critical role— not only to ensure a reliable electricity supply, given the added pressure from plugging more EVs into an already stressed grid network, but also by making sure that any added demand for electricity to power EVs increasingly comes from clean power sources.”

The primary findings/recommendations of the report include:

Industry recommendations: Auto-manufacturers will “need to respond to regulatory pressures and shift their product portfolio to avoid material penalties. Additionally, there is an opportunity for vehicle manufacturers and utility electricity providers to partner to deliver a superior value proposition to consumers.”

By the year 2020, markets will need to individually add:

  • 3.7 terrawatt-hours (TWh) in the European Union
  • 4.5 TWh in the US
  • 26.2 TWh in China

Policymaker recommendations: Policymakers should “examine how proposed fuel requirements can be matched by working with industry through financial and operational incentives in order to achieve desired improvements in CO2 emissions.”

Consumer recommendations: Consumers “should provide feedback to regulators and manufacturers by evaluating the economic and environmental benefits of EVs alongside alternative online transportation methods.”

More on the report can be found here.

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Written By

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.


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