Plug-in vehicles are on a roll – as of this month, there are now a million on the world’s roads, according to an estimate by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). However, that’s still a tiny fraction of the two-billion-strong global vehicle fleet. EV adoption will have to ramp up quickly to have an impact on the environmental and geopolitical crises of the dying oil age.
Recognizing that leaders around the world must cooperate to accelerate global adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), the governments of several EV hotspots have formed a new organization called the International ZEV Alliance to set targets for ZEV deployment, and to share data and best practice policies. The new group’s agenda is outlined in a report published by the ICCT, “Transition to a Global Zero-Emission Vehicle Fleet: A Collaborative Agenda for Governments.”
The founding members of the International ZEV Alliance are Norway, the Netherlands and the UK; the US states of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Canadian province of Québec. These regions account for only 7 percent of global car sales, but represent 38 percent of plug-in sales, thanks in large part to progressive government policies and investments.
“These governments have been crucial to early adoption of electric vehicles,” said Nic Lutsey, Program Director and author of the ICCT report. “Each government has helped grow the early market with a mix of financial and non-financial incentives, vehicle policy, consumer awareness and outreach, and the installation of a charging infrastructure.”
“In these early years in the transition, there is much to learn from every region’s experience in the roll-out of zero emission vehicles. Developing the new zero-emission vehicle market will require global scale, in the tens of millions of vehicles, to achieve lower cost and long-term success,” the report says. “International collaboration will be a critical step toward greater market volume and a long-term market transformation.”