By the end of 2019, the European Green Deal set the goal of making Europe a climate-neutral continent by 2050. To get there, it is fundamental to transition to electric mobility. However, is it possible to get there in this time frame? T&E (Transport & Environment) asked the help of BloombergNEF to answer that, and they concluded it is feasible if European governments do their part.
Curiously, price parity is just part of the equation. Carmakers should achieve it between 2025 and 2027. That will be possible with declining battery prices and high production scale, which should make these vehicles more affordable. Yet, automakers would need “government incentive” to get there. In other words, more penalties if they don’t.
For T&E, the idea would be to force CO2 reduction in new cars by 30 percent from 2025, by 45 percent from 2027, and by 80 percent from 2030. Establishing a more severe reduction goal only by 2030 would not be enough for the EV market share to reach 22 percent by 2025, 37 percent by 2027, and 67 percent by 2030. According to T&E, this would be the minimum for Europe to reach its climate neutrality goals by 2050.
Although it looks great on paper, the study thinks of a continent that does not contribute to climate change by following the same business logic it adopts today, with increased raw material use.
It also does not wonder about changing the car ownership model, which will soon put us in front of a big question on what to do with all the combustion-engined cars that nobody wants anymore.
Increasing electric car production may also pose a huge environmental problem: what will we do with all the vehicles that need a battery pack replacement? Will they keep running with feasible prices for these replacements, which will not cost more than the own car? Unfortunately, this is not what we see today.
As interesting as the study is, anyone with true environmental concerns has to look at the whole picture to plan the future. If we just change one component of a model that already showed it is not sustainable, we’ll just postpone thinking about changing the model. Lithium, cobalt, iron, copper, and other components of electric cars are just as finite as oil.