Vehicle manufacturers and policy makers are boosting their attention and actions related to electric vehicles (EVs). EV technologies such as full battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric models are attactive options to help reach environmental, societal and health objectives.

In addition to being two- to four-times more efficient than conventional internal combustion engine models, EVs can reduce reliance on oil-based fuels and, if running on low-carbon power, can deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, with zero tailpipe emissions, EVs are well suited to help solve air pollution issues. Moreover, EVs are driving advances in battery technology – a key issue for industrial competitiveness in the transition to clean energy.

EV fleets are expanding at a fast pace in several of the world’s largest vehicle markets. The costs of batteries and EVs are dropping. Charging infrastructure is expanding. This progress promotes electrification of transport modes such as two/three-wheelers, light-duty vehicles (LDVs) (cars and vans), taxis and shared vehicles, buses and heavy-duty vehicles with short range requirements such as urban deliveries. Manufacturers are continuing to expand the number of EV models available to customers.

Effective policies still needed to address upfront investment costs, promote EV charging infrastructure and ensure a smooth integration of charging demand in power systems. With foundations being laid for widespread adoption of EVs in several large economies, there are strong prospects that the 2020s will be the decade in which electric mobility significantly expands.

The Global EV Outlook 2021 – the flagship annual publication of the Electric Vehicles Initiative – analyses the worldwide status of electric mobility. It considers the factors that have influenced recent developments, technological prospects and the outlook for EV deployment in the period to 2030. The analysis is presented in three chapters:

Chapter 1 discusses trends in electric mobility with historical data on EV registrations and stock, and availability of charging infrastructure to the end of 2020. It explores the main factors driving electrification of road transport, including roll-out plans from the private sector and other developments to April 2021.

Chapter 2 provides an overview of the current policy framework relevant to both light-duty and heavy-duty EVs to April 2021. It highlights measures undertaken by governments to shield the EV market from the impact of the Covid-19 panademic.

Chapter 3 presents the outlook for EVs and chargers to 2030. It assesses their impacts on energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, battery production volumes and revenue from taxes.

Electric Vehicles Initiative

The Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI) is a multi-governmental policy forum established in 2010 under the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM). Recognising the opportunities offered by EVs, the EVI is dedicated to accelerating the adoption of EVs worldwide.To do so, it strives to better understand the policy challenges related to electric mobility, help governments address them and to serve as a platform for knowledge sharing.

The EVI facilitates exchanges between government policy makers that are committed to supporting EV development and a variety of partners, bringing them together twice a year. Its multilateral nature, openness to various stakeholders and  engagement at different levels of governance (from country to city-level) offer fruitful opportunities to exchange information and to learn from experiences developed by a range of actors in the transition to electric mobility.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) serves as the co-ordinator to support the EVI member governments in this activity. Governments that have been active in the EVI in the 2020-21 period include Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China (hereafter “China”), Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and United Kingdom. Canada and China co-lead the initiative. Greece and Ghana are observers.

The EVI also helps to raise the ambition levels for electric mobitlity worldwide through the linked CEM campaigns of EV30@30 and Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero Campaign, each endorsed by different members.

Electric Vehicles Initiative logo
Evi Co Lead Gevo 2021

EVI co-lead are China and Canada.

Electric Vehicles Initiative campaigns

EV30@30 Campaign

The EV30@30 Campaign was launched at the CEM meeting in 2017 to spur the deployment of EVs. It sets a collective aspirational goal for EVs (excluding two/three-wheelers) to reach 30% sales share by 2030 across all signatory countries. This is the benchmark against which progress is to be measured for the EVI members.  Fourteen countries endorsed the campaign: Canada; Chile; China; Finland; France; Germany; India; Japan; Mexico; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal; Sweden and United Kingdom. In addition, 30 companies and organisations support the campaign, including: C40; FIA Foundation; Global Fuel Economy Initiative; Hewlett Foundation; Natural Resources Defence Council; REN21; SLoCaT; The Climate Group; UN Environment Programme; UN Habitat; World Resources Institute; ZEV Alliance; ChargePoint; Energias de Portugal; Enel X; E.ON; Fortum; Iberdrola; Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance; Schneider Electric; TEPCO; Vattenfall and ChargeUp Europe.

Coordinated by the IEA, the campaign includes five implementing actions to help achieve the goal in accordance with the priorities and programmes of each EVI member country.

These include:

  • Support and track the deployment of EV chargers.
  • Galvanise public and private sector commitments to incorporate EVs in company and supplier fleets.
  • Scale up policy research and information exchanges.
  • Support governments through training and capacity building.
  • Establish the Global EV Pilot City Programme to achieve 100 EV-Friendly Cities over five years.

Drive to Zero Campaign

The Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero Campaign was launched at the 2020 CEM meeting and operates as part of the EVI. The campaign, administered by CALSTART, a clean transport non-profit organisation, aims to bring governments and leading industry stakeholders together to collaboratively develop policies, programmes and actions that can support the rapid manufacture and deployment of zero-emission commercial vehicles. Drive to Zero counts more than 100 pledge partners, including nine national governments (as of April 2020) and leading state, provincial and regional governments and agencies from across the world.

GEF-7 Global Programme on electromobility

The GEF-7 Global Electric Mobility Programme, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), will be launched in the second-half of 2021 to help low and middle-income countries shift to electromobility. The programme plans to implement one global project and 27 country projects over a five-year period. The IEA together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will lead the global project, which aims to expand and complement the work of the EVI. Under the global project, the IEA and UNEP along with working groups (focusing on LDVs, two/three-wheelers, heavy-duty vehicles and system integration and batteries) will develop knowledge products to help inform the country projects, with knowledge transfers supported by regional platforms (Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America/Caribbean). In addition, the data tracking framework used for the annual Global EV Outlook reports will be extended to the countries participating in the programme. In part, programme activities will be implemented in collaboration with the European Commission SOLUTIONSPlus Project – an initiative funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 which is focused on EV deployment in urban areas.

EVI Global EV Pilot City Programme

The EVI Global EV Pilot City Programme was launched in May 2018 at the 9th CEM as an initiative of the EV30@30 campaign. It aims to build a network of at least 100 cities over an initial period of five years to work together on the promotion of electric mobility. Its central pillars are to facilitate information exchanges between cities and to encourage best practices, for example through webinars and workshops. Another important element is to develop analytical outputs and reports to help cities and other stakeholders learn from previous experiences of member cities. In March 2021, the EVI Pilot City Programme and the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technology Collaboration Programme (HEV TCP) jointly released the third EV Cities Casebook and Policy Guide. It aims to inspire a move towards mass electric mobility by showcasing cities building better and cleaner mobility with EVs. The casebook looks at global case studies of EV innovation, issues policy guidance, and provides analysis of common challenges and lessons learned in order to foster global uptake of electric vehicles in urban areas. The IEA and the Shanghai International Automobile City serve as the joint secretariat of the EVI Global EV Pilot City Programme.