A series of signals from different stakeholders subtly hint at the need for an acceleration in the decarbonization of the European economy in order to comply with the 2015 Paris Agreement: the UK government and the European Parliament announced a climate emergency last year, the European Commission is proposing to raise the 2030 GHG emissions reduction targets, and NGOs continue to advocate for more ambitious decarbonization targets.
Podcast with Diego Garcia Carvajal and Marie Kress. Source: Smart mobility podcast
Road transport, which accounted for 20% of CO2 emissions in 2015, is ready to make a significant contribution to the effort through increased use of electric vehicles (EVs) that emit three times less CO2 than a combustion engine vehicle, when measured from ‘well-to-wheel’. The replacement of fossil fuel vehicles by EVs can also occur quite rapidly, considering the relatively short lifetime of cars.
In addition to generating much lower CO2 emissions and improving urban air quality through zero particles emissions, EVs are currently the best available road mobility technology because:
- They are between 2.5 and 5 times more energy efficient than other clean technologies
- The total cost of ownership is typically lower than a conventional car
- They offer short-time storage capacity to both the electricity grid and end users (“vehicle-to-home” or “vehicle-to-building”)
The European Copper Institute proposes to have 150kW chargers installed every 60 km along the Core European Road Network
However, the shift to electric vehicles can only occur if consumers are aware of their benefits, offered a wide range of models, and provided with the right charging infrastructure.