As climate change becomes an increasingly pressing issue, the call for sustainable and environmentally-friendly solutions continue to mount. One industry where this has been quickly gaining traction over the years is transportation. Electric vehicles used to be an infeasible, luxury solution to managing climate change. However, with the advancements in battery technology and support from government bodies, a future full of electric vehicles is becoming more and more accessible. The research and development of EVs from private cars and scooters to buses, ships, and planes are allowing more and more people to invest in and use environmentally-friendly transportation options.
The growth of the EV industry
The EV industry is growing at a rapid pace. In 2018, the number of electric cars increased by 2 million to 5.1 million globally. While China leads the way in number, Norway and other Nordic countries lead the way in electric car adoption. Electric cars make up 46% of the market share in Norway. Iceland comes in second at 17.2% and Sweden third at 7.9%.
The adoption of electric alternatives in other forms of transport is not as rapid, but some big companies are making steps towards an electric future. For instance, Amazon recently ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from start-up Rivan by 2030. The number of electric buses being procured in Europe, India, and Latin America is also on the rise, showing the integration of EVs into the public as well as private sphere.
It has been more difficult to break into the market of electric medium-to-heavy duty trucks as there have been doubts whether batteries can efficiently power them. With Tesla launching the semi-truck, and other truck makers taking notice, manufacturers are starting to take steps to enter this business. There is also movement towards electrification in shipping and aviation, with electric ships and planes under development. All this shows that there is a growing interest and willingness to invest in a future of electric vehicles.
Countries’ commitment to zero-emissions
Various regions and countries are setting clear targets and goals to reduce carbon-emissions, and supportive government policies and initiatives are facilitating this. For instance, countries such as the UK and France aim to ban all sales of new gasoline and diesel powered vehicles from 2040; in Norway, all new passenger cars sold from 2025 should be zero emission vehicles; and in .
Globally, 95% of all electric cars are sold in only ten countries which are China, the US, Japan, Canada, Norway, UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. As EVs become more affordable and standard of living continues to rise in urbanizing nations, this percentage is likely to change.
How electric cars can be adopted: Norway
Norway is leading the way for zero-transmission transportation. A huge reason for this success is substantial incentives from the government. These include VAT exemptions and cheaper ferry, parking, and toll fees for electric vehicles. Charging stations are also publically available along major roads. These initiatives form the administration are crucial to creating an environment that can support electric transportation. Even if all cars were electric, the infrastructure to support this must be present. In Norway, 98% of electricity production comes from renewable sources, ensuring that this move towards green-energy is all-rounded.
How the EV industry is moving forward
The battery is still the key component of the fully electric car that needs to be improved. Prices of lithium-ion batteries have decreased drastically over the past 8-years, dropping from USD1160/kWh in 2010 to USD176/kWh in 2018. The price is expected to continue to drop in the years to come. This drop is slowly making electric cars more affordable. Companies are also conducting continuous materials research, reducing the cost of batteries by developing more cost efficient ratios of materials while still maintaining battery safety and stability. With continuous breakthroughs in battery technology and calls for genuine action against climate change growing louder and louder, the demand for electric vehicles will only continue to grow.
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