Paris climate accord pushes electric car agenda forward

Paris climate accord pushes electric car agenda forward
Electric vehicles: Coming soon to the Gulf region.
Updated 15 July 2017

Paris climate accord pushes electric car agenda forward

Paris climate accord pushes electric car agenda forward

LONDON: France has announced it will ban the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 to meet terms of the Paris climate accord. The move comes as Volvo declared it will go electric and that no model brought in after next year would rely solely on internal combustion engines.
Sales of diesel cars in Europe have already dropped by more than 10 percent this year, while demand for electric and hybrid vehicles is increasing. There is also a long waiting list for the new Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle, which will sell for $35,000 and shortly come on the market.
In the Paris Agreement, each country determines plans and regularly reports its own contribution to mitigating global warming. There is no mechanism to force a country to set a specific target by a specific date, but each target should go beyond previously set targets.
The language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 196 parties and adopted by consensus on Dec. 12, 2015. As of June 2017, 195 members have signed the agreement, 153 of which have ratified it. The only withdrawal came from US President Trump causing condemnation from China, the EU and organizations in the US. However, the US has its own set of environmental restrictions — some (in California) are tougher than in Europe.
Terms of the Paris Agreement, giving countries flexibility to set their own targets and timetables, seem to accelerate the push to adopt electric vehicles as means to mitigate air pollution.
China leads the world in electric car sales of almost 650,000 vehicles followed by Europe (637,500) and the US (570,187), according to a research published this year in HybridCars.com.
Cumulative global sales of plug-in electric passenger cars and light-utility vehicles achieved 2 million units in December 2016. This translated into 0.86 percent market share of the total new car sales last year, up from 0.62 percent in 2015.
China has stipulated a ratio of 8 percent electric vehicles from major exporters as of next year, rising to 12 percent in 2020. This move forced German and American exporters to accelerate research into bringing electric vehicles to the market sooner in order not to lose trade and market share in China. China now has 43 percent of the global stock of electric vehicles.
India is also drawing up plans to phase out all petrol and diesel cars by 2032. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a mix of subsidies, car-pooling and caps on fossil fuel cars in order to cut pollution and reduce reliance on imported oil.
European efforts
Norway leads Europe in electric car use even though it is a major oil-producing country. Almost all of its electricity comes from hydroelectric power.
New electric car sales in Norway accounted for a third of all car sales and topped 100,000 vehicles.
Norway offers incentives, exemptions from tax and free parking to electric cars — and has a good, fast battery-charging system.
In France, the number of electric vehicles shot up from less than 10,000 in 2012 to more than 100,000 in 2016. France offers incentives and exemptions amounting to €10,000 ($11,469) for switching to zero emission. Paris will also ban old diesel vehicles from its center and that is likely to be followed by other French cities.
Holland has also announced plans to phase out all internal combustion vehicles by 2035. It uses taxation to limit the use of fossil fuel cars starting from zero tax for zero-emission cars and rising steeply with carbon dioxide emission amounts. When the Dutch government tried to reduce incentives, the strategy backfired; sales of electric vehicles dived by 73 percent in the first six months of 2016. The decision was reversed.
The UK has car manufacturers such as Vauxhall, Mini, and Land Rover as well as car assembly plants, and is the second-largest car market in Europe. The UK does not have an official electric car goal but unofficially, the government has a plan to make electric vehicles rise to 5 percent of 2020 car registrations. The country offers grants of up to £4,500 ($5,600) and exempts cars with carbon emissions lower than 100 grams/km from annual tax.
Germany is formulating its response to the Paris accord. Although it has managed to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 21 percent since 1990, its transport emissions have since increased. Germany offers incentives to encourage the use of electric vehicles and supports a Europe-wide ban on fossil-fuel vehicles by 2030; there is no law yet to that effect.
The Paris Agreement is pushing the world closer to electric cars, and countries are using various means to achieve the same objective of reducing pollution and greenhouse gases.