At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are looking to other nations more than ever before. Some countries like South Korea and Germany lead the pack in terms of infection containment and countries like Australia and China seem to have returned to some semblance of normality. That said, we received a great response to our recent post about cities in the UK leading the way with electric vehicles and we thought it may be interesting to have a look at a global level. In 2019 there were around 5 million registered electric vehicles worldwide, a 63% increase on 2018. While this incredible growth is very positive for us all, it must be said that this growth is being propped up by a relatively small number of nations.
It will be no surprise that China lead the way in electric vehicles given their population, with around 2 million in 2019. The Chinese government are not exactly known for their green energy initiatives but large corporations in China have made significant contributions to electric travel. China is also the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and makes 99% of the world’s electric buses. China’s tech cities like Shenzhen have been instrumental in the development of electric technology and many of China’s new ‘green’ cities feature buildings adorned in foliage, all-electric public transport and some of the highest proportions of electric vehicle chargepoints per capita. That said, on a national scale, China performs poorly when we prorate for the size of the population. Just 4.44% of new cars in China in 2019 were electric.
When we look on a per capita scale, the unrivalled leader in electric travel is the super-rich Scandinavian country, Norway. It may seem ironic that a country whose national trust is funded almost completely by their oil reserves is leading the way in green energy but the government and population’s adoption of electric is astounding. Almost 50% of new cars in Norway were fully electric in 2019 and this can easily be seen in the streets of Oslo where many of the taxis and government vehicles are Teslas. CarWow also crowned Norway the best European country for electric travel in 2020 based on the availability of EV chargepoints, electric rental vehicles and full-electric public transport. Moreover, their dominance is set to continue with 75% of January 2020 vehicle sales being alternative fuels.
For such a remote and sparsely populated country, Iceland have shown great determination to achieve a greener future. The government has put forward plans to totally ban new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 and aims to have 30,000 electric vehicles on the roads by 2026. This may seem like a tiny amount but, given the population is less than 400,000, this would be a significant portion of the cars on the road. In 2019, 19% of all vehicles in Iceland were electric. The capital, Reykjavik, is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2040 and the government has been world leading in its adoption of electric charging for cargo ships in the city’s harbour.
It is worth mentioning that northern Europe is a hub for electric travel. The adoption of electric vehicles in The Netherlands, Sweden and Finland means they complete the top 5 for electric vehicles per capita worldwide.
This small, eastern European country is considered to be a world-leader in green energy. Almost all of the nation’s electricity is generated by hydroelectric power. The police force drive electric vehicles and the capital, Tirana, was one of the first to adopt electric busses in 2017. There has also been a boom in commercial adoption of electric travel with the cities taxi firms beginning the conversion to electric in 2014 and Telekom Albania, one of the country’s largest companies, committing to install around 10,000 chargepoints around Tirana.
It must be said that one of the main challenges in the global electric vehicle market is the level of development in many countries across the world. While India is a global financial superpower, much of the country is still underdeveloped and many live in poverty. With that said, there are many positives coming from the Indian EV market. The government’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) policy has allowed the market to boom. Indian Steel conglomerate, TATA, have announced their plans for new electric vehicles, including the eagerly awaited TATA Nexon EV. This vehicle will be priced at around 20,000 USD making it one of the most affordable models worldwide. TATA have also been actively involved in projects to increase the availability of chargepoints in the country and there are plans to install solar powered chargepoints in many petrol stations. Tech and finance city, Bangalore, has the highest density of chargepoints in the country with a helping hand from tech start-ups, Ather Energy and Ampere.
It must be said that countries leading the way in their adoption of electric vehicles do not seem to fit one specific mould. The Northern European blueprint offers an example which the UK can follow and we are by no means underperforming. However, in order to make a meaningful change worldwide, the key players will continue to be the US, China and India due to their size. With other major economic powers like Russia and Brazil seemingly uninterested, the burden will fall on the rest of us to achieve our global targets. Your choice of car may be seem insignificant but each electric vehicle we buy is another step towards an electric future.
If you are an individual looking to switch to an electric vehicle or a company owner looking to convert some, or all, of your fleet then please get in touch to discuss this further. A member of our team would be happy to talk to you and answer any questions that you have. Call us on 0141 280 8890 or drop us an email at [email protected]