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Being three to four times more energy-efficient than conventional cars, but also enhancing air quality and noise levels in cities, electric vehicles will play a growing role in mobility, not only substantially reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency.
Today, transport is responsible for about a quarter of EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and it is almost exclusively dependent on oil products for fuel. It is actually the only major sector in the EU in which GHG emissions are still rising. In order to achieve the planned emission cuts in transport (-60% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels), electrification of road transport plays a crucial role.
Decarbonisation of transport calls for EVs
Battery electric vehicles reduce drastically the GHG emissions of road transport. They do not have any tailpipe emissions and all emissions linked to power generation are subject to the EU ETS and thus capped. Even when counting these emissions as transport emissions, with the current European power mix, electric passenger cars emit 50g CO2/km, already significantly less than the 2021 fleet emission limit for new cars of 95g CO2/km.
In 2016, the average emissions of new cars sold were still 118g CO2/km. Although there might still be some room for improvements in internal combustion engines, these will not bring us close to the needed emission reductions. Moreover, other pollutant emissions, such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, a major cause of smog in our cities, can be drastically reduced by switching to electric cars.