Why Electric Cars Are Better for the Environment

Excerpt from earth.org

Countries Around the World Are Betting on Electric Cars

Several countries have made switching to electric cars a priority in their plans to reach their climate goals. So far, 17 countries have announced 100% zero-emission vehicle targets or to phase-out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2050. The world’s most powerful economies – the US and China – are racing against each other to become leaders in the EV market, with the latter making remarkable progress in expanding the industry. As of 2020, China has sold more than three million passenger EVs, over double the number of the US. China also has over 400 registered brands in the New Energy Vehicle (NEV) industry and over 500,000 electric buses, accounting for a staggering 98% of the global figure. But the future of this sector looks equally promising in the US. Here, electric car sales have climbed by more than 40% a year since 2016 and the number is expected to rise as President Joe Biden’s plan to reach carbon neutrality involves making sure that half of all new vehicle sales in the country will be zero-emission cars. While the government is doing its part by boosting consumer tax credits for purchasing a new EV to USD$12,500 – up from the current USD$7,500 – as well as financing new public charging infrastructure, US states are also taking action by adopting credit programmes and tougher emissions standards. In California, fuel demand for EVs has sparked a race to build 1.2 million chargers by 2030, as the California Energy Commission predicts that by then, there will be approximately 7.5 million EVs on the roads.

For the UK, they have announced a ban on new petrol and diesel cars from sale after 2030 in a bid to reach zero-emissions by 2050. To fuel the transition, the government will invest nearly £12 billion (USD$14 billion), which will be used to accelerate the roll-out of charging points across the country, boost mass production of EV batteries as well as support consumers’ purchases with grants that will allow them to save up to 42%. Similarly, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the need to boost electric vehicles as part of the city’s 2050 carbon neutrality plan. It is estimated that if every vehicle were electric, Hong Kong’s total carbon footprint would drop to 1.4 million tons from the current 7.4 million tons.