The Outlook is based on a rigorous and integrated analysis of population and economic growth, technological changes, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement, impacts of Covid-19 and other factors. It presents the latest projections of the Joint Program for the Future of Earth’s Energy, Food, Water and Climate Systems, as well as prospects for achieving the goals. Paris Agreementshort and long term climate goals.
Projections are provided for a Paris Forever baseline scenario, in which the current NDCs (from March 2021) are maintained in perpetuity; a 2 ° C Paris scenario capping global warming at 2 ° C by 2100; and an Accelerated Actions scenario, which limits warming to 1.5 ° C by 2100. More precise scenario definitions are provided in the report, which also introduces a visualization tool which allows higher resolution exploration of each scenario.
Reproduced here in full, the study shows that while the electrification of light vehicles can significantly contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector, a more comprehensive approach is needed to complement the job.
EVs offer a solution to decarbonise the transport sector. Private light household vehicles (i.e. cars and light trucks) (LVs) are well suited for electrification due to their smaller size and battery requirements compared to commercial vehicles that transport heavier loads. And as the electricity sector increasingly turns to clean energy sources, electric vehicles will help reduce both GHG emissions and air pollution. Several automakers and local and regional governments have declared ambitious targets for the deployment of electric vehicles over the next 10 to 15 years, but achieving decarbonization of light vehicles on a large scale will be a formidable task.
In the MIT Mobility of the future (MIT, 2019), we have helped quantify the size of the current global light vehicle fleet (1.1 billion vehicles) and future scenarios for its growth. Currently, the electric vehicle fleet (battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids) is rather small, with around 10 million vehicles at the end of 2020, or less than 1% of the total light vehicle fleet. Last year, sales of electric vehicles set a new record with around 3 million vehicles sold worldwide (see Box A for an assessment of the impact of the pandemic on sales of electric vehicles). With annual global LCV sales of around 100 million vehicles, a substantial expansion of electric vehicles will be needed to meet decarbonization targets.
We estimate a rapid increase in the global stock of electric vehicles over the next three decades. From around 10 million in 2020, the stock of EV in the Paris Forever scenario will reach 100 million in 2030 (figure 1, top), nearly 300 million in 2040 and nearly 650 million in 2050. The stock of light vehicles increasing overall by 1.1 billion in 2020 to around 1.7 billion in 2050, the share of EVs in the light vehicle fleet will reach 38% in 2050. EV growth is even faster in the Paris 2 ° C scenario, with a projection of 825 million of EVs in circulation by 2050 (Figure 1, middle), with 50% of the electric vehicle fleet. To achieve this level of electric vehicle fleet penetration, 80% of all cars sold globally in 2050 must be electric. For more details on these scenarios, see MIT (2019). We’re also exploring a scenario with more aggressive global mitigation actions, including accelerated support for electric vehicles. In this scenario, the electric vehicle fleet will reach over 200 million vehicles in 2030, 600 million in 2040 and over 1 billion in 2050 (Figure 1, bottom). If we assume this accelerated deployment of electric vehicles, two-thirds of all global LCVs by 2050 will be electric. Our modeling implies that to achieve electrification of 67% of the global light vehicle inventory, global EV sales would exceed 30 million in 2030, 60 million in 2040 and 100 million in 2050. Although we have not assessed the quantity and the Availability of materials needed for battery production to support these levels of automotive manufacturing, it is clear that new supply chains and technologies will be critical for continued growth in the deployment of electric vehicles.
Our EV deployment projections by large regional groupings (Figure 2) show that growth will be driven by developed regions (driven by Europe and the United States) and other G20 regions (driven by China and the United States). India). We estimate that in 2030, the developed region will have the most electric vehicles (around 60 million vehicles in the Paris Forever and Paris 2 ° C scenarios and around 120 million vehicles in the Accelerated Actions scenario), but by 2050 , electric vehicle markets in developed countries and other G20 regions will be roughly the same size (260-270 million vehicles in Paris Forever, 330-350 million in Paris 2 ° C and 425-465 million in the Accelerated Actions scenarios) because the other countries of the other G20s (Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Korea, Indonesia) should also considerably accelerate their electrification efforts by mid-century.
The leaders in EV deployment in all scenarios are China, Europe and the United States (Figure 3). In the Paris Forever scenario, we estimate that the Chinese electric fleet will increase from 4.5 million in 2020 to around 25 million in 2030 and to around 130 million in 2050. In the Accelerated actions scenario, China’s EV stock will reach 50 million in 2030 and 250 million in 2050. Europe will experience comparable growth until 2030 (compared to 2.4 million electric vehicles currently in 2020), but will then experience slower growth than China. The European fleet of electric vehicles in 2050 will be around 100 million in the Paris Forever scenario and around 200 million in the Accelerated Actions scenario. The EV deployment trajectory in the United States will be similar to that in Europe. India’s light vehicle fleet is expected to be smaller than in China, Europe or the United States, but its growth in electric vehicles is also remarkable, reaching around 50 to 60 million electric vehicles by 2050.
The electrification of light vehicles will grow rapidly in all scenarios. By the middle of the century, electric vehicles will occupy a significant share of fleets in all regions of the world with significant market growth in China, Europe and the United States. Meanwhile, the need for mobility increases dramatically. Although the electrification of light vehicles can significantly contribute to the mitigation of GHG emissions in the transport sector, it offers only a partial solution. A comprehensive solution will require not only technology, but an integrated systems approach that includes more efficient internal combustion vehicles, a long-term shift to low and zero carbon fuels for transportation, and increased efficiency of the transportation system through digitization, smart pricing and multimodal integration. Further emission reductions could come from more consumers switching from private transport to low-emission public transport, shared mobility, cycling and walking.