Charging infrastructure deployment in emerging markets and developing economies

Facing the threat of climate change and increasing levels of air pollution, governments worldwide are exploring a transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to decarbonize their transport sector. This is particularly relevant in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs), where transport-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are rising quickly and are expected to continue to do so in the coming decades.

An accelerated ZEV transition could reduce global transport-related emissions by 73% by 2050 compared to 2020 levels, a trajectory compatible with the 2015 Paris Agreement. The ICCT further found that a successful ZEV transition could reduce transport-related emissions in EMDEs by 51% in 2050, compared to 2020 levels. The figure below maps the key EMDE regions analyzed in this paper and the percentage of the global vehicle market they represented as of 2021.

world map showing EMDE regions and the share of each in the global vehicle market

Figure. EMDE regions and share of the global vehicle market

However, a successful transition to ZEVs will require development of a robust charging infrastructure that makes ZEVs at least as convenient to drive as their conventional vehicle counterparts. Most regions of the world have limited charging infrastructure in place, which constrains the pace of ZEV uptake. In the near term, EMDE governments could jumpstart charging infrastructure deployment through the use of public funding. However, in the medium to long term, reaching the scale of charging infrastructure deployment needed to achieve net zero-emissions by 2050 will require significant private sector investments.

The objective of this briefing paper is to summarize the discussions that took place during the ZEVTC charging infrastructure regional dialogue webinars in June 2022. It does so by first assessing the status of charging infrastructure deployment in EMDEs. Second, it identifies key challenges commonly found in deploying charging infrastructure. Third, the paper summarizes policies and practices to accelerate charging infrastructure deployment, as highlighted by the literature review. Finally, it formulates recommendations to ZEVTC members for accelerating infrastructure deployment in EMDEs, informed by insights from the ZEVTC regional dialogues, which drew on the expertise of international organizations and initiatives such as the Global Electromobility Programme, the Transport Decarbonization Investment (TDI) Series, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Regional Business Dialogues. Recommendations were also informed by a literature review of infrastructure development conducted by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).

Charging infrastructure