Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are several times more efficient in converting energy into vehicle movement than conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles. They are much more compatible with renewable energy sources. They can produce no emissions at the vehicle tailpipe and much lower life-cycle (“well to wheel”) emissions. Accordingly, businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations are turning to electric vehicles to dramatically lower oil use, reduce carbon pollution, eliminate local air pollution, and spur economic development. Long-term planning scenarios indicate that the global vehicle fleet will have to be almost entirely made up of electric vehicles, powered mostly by renewable sources, by 2050 if the world is to avoid worst-case global climate-change scenarios.

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About the program

Electric vehicles are several times more efficient in converting energy into vehicle movement than conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles. They are much more compatible with renewable energy sources. They can produce no emissions at the vehicle tailpipe and much lower life-cycle (“well to wheel”) emissions. Accordingly, businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations are turning to electric vehicles to dramatically lower oil use, reduce carbon pollution, eliminate local air pollution, and spur economic development. Long-term planning scenarios indicate that the global vehicle fleet will have to be almost entirely made up of electric vehicles, powered mostly by renewable sources, by 2050 if the world is to avoid worst-case global climate-change scenarios.

The ICCT’s electric vehicle program aims to understand and describe what policies and incentives are most effective in the early growth stages for the global electric vehicle market. We analyze trends in electric-vehicle technologies and in vehicle markets; evaluate how regulation, tax incentives, non-fiscal promotional policies, and infrastructure are helping to drive the electric vehicle market; and compare the different policy approaches across countries and cities around the world to better understand the emerging best practices to accelerate the transition to electric drive. In addition to our research, we work directly with governments, particularly through the Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance, to inform and support practical policy making that can facilitate the necessary technological transition to a zero-emission transportation sector.

Impact of the increased penetration of electric vehicles on the CO2 emissions of the remaining combustion vehicles in the fleet under three electric vehicle accounting scenarios. The figure shows the extent to which the conventional combustion (i.e., non-plug-in electric) portion of the vehicle fleet’s emissions are impacted by the potential regulatory incentives in the 2025–2030 time frame.

Integrating electric vehicles within
U.S. and European effciency regulations

Recent publications

Electric vehicle capitals of the world: What markets are leading the transition to electric?

Identifies 20 cities with the highest electric vehicle uptake through 2016 and examines the associated local policies, incentives, and infrastructure that have helped spur electric vehicle sales growth.

2017.11.08 | Briefing
Developing hydrogen fueling infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles: A status update

Provides a synthesis of information regarding the global development of hydrogen fueling infrastructure to power fuel cell vehicles. Compiles research on hydrogen infrastructure deployment, fuel pathways, and planning based on developments in the prominent fuel cell vehicle growth markets around the world.

2017.10.04 | Briefing
Emerging best practices for electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Assesses charging infrastructure deployment practices, challenges, and emerging best practices in major electric vehicle markets. Statistically analyzes the relationship between public charging and electric vehicle uptake at the metropolitan area level to better discern local infrastructure variation, practices, and circumstances.

2017.10.04 | White paper
See all publications

Staff blog

Batteries or fuel cells: Who’s in it for the long haul?

Tesla isn’t the only company betting big on long-haul electric trucks. Some of the others are betting on hydrogen, some on catenary systems. But don't look yet for an odds-on favorite.

Staff