Electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla are selling more zero-emission units than ever before, though a new energy report suggests that it may not be enough to counter climate change. In fact, several industries rely on fossil fuels still, and industrial goals to reach net-zero carbon by 2050 will require significant overhauls to become possible.
Above: Solar panels in Taipei. Photo: Anders J / Unsplash
The International Energy Agency released its Tracking Clean Energy Progress report last month, as detailed by MarketWatch. While the report had grim news to share regarding the overall switch from fossil fuels to renewables, it also predicted the EV industry to have a record year in 2022 — offering one piece of good news, at the very least.
The report’s overall goal is to track progress on reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and the results are gloomy, to be sure. Major changes are needed in several industries — oil and gas, low-emission fuel, the transportation industry, the industrial economy and commercial buildings are all “not on track” to meet the 2050 deadline. In a slight improvement, the electricity generation sector has scored a “more efforts needed.”
Still, the report sees EVs selling record numbers around the world which could be viewed as a positive note by investors and others looking for ways to reduce their own personal footprints.
On the EV market’s global scale, China remains a key player with higher-than-ever sales and a large auto market in general. In China, 2022 EV sales have already surpassed those of 2021, with around 3.7 million battery-electric and plugin hybrid vehicles sold through August of this year, as Citi analyst Jeff Chung says. The figure represents a 123 percent year-over-year jump in sales, with just 3.5 million new energy vehicles sold globally throughout all of 2021.
EVs will likely reach around 13 percent market share of light-duty vehicles this year, which U.S. investors may find to be a bit surprising. This is due to U.S. new car sales only including around a five-percent market share of all vehicles sold.
Above: Three Myths About the Global Energy Crisis. Video: International Energy Agency
Renewable energy remains an important focus on the transition away from fossil fuels worldwide, with Tesla leading the charge in EV sales. Additionally, however, Tesla is expanding its solar energy and Powerwall business and is even slated to sell electricity in Texas in the coming years. The report also notes that around a trillion dollars will be spent worldwide on electrical power generation in 2022, about half of which will be dedicated to working on renewable solutions.
In short, lots of change needs to happen to reach climate and greenhouse gas goals by 2050. Despite this, EVs are continually becoming a bright spot in the glum subject area, and that will only increase with widespread consumer adoption of the technology in the years to come.