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Prospects for electric vehicle deployment

Outlook for electric mobility

This outlook explores two pathways for road transport electrification in the pivotal decade to 2030. It assesses the projected uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) across transport modes and regions. Then, it explores the implications of electric mobility for charging infrastructure, battery demand, energy demand, GHG emissions and revenue from road transport fuel taxation. This outlook for electric mobility takes a scenario-based approach which build on the latest market data, policy drivers and technology perspectives: the Stated Policies and Sustainable Development scenarios.

The Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS) is the baseline scenario of the IEA flagship reports the World Energy Outlook and Energy Technology Perspectives. This scenario reflects all existing policies, policy ambitions and targets that have been legislated for or announced by governments around the world. It includes current EV-related policies and regulations, as well as the expected effects of announced deployments and plans from industry stakeholders. STEPS aims to hold up a mirror to the plans of policy makers and illustrate their consequences.

The Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS) rests on three pillars: ensure universal energy access for all by 2030; bring about sharp reductions in emissions of air pollutants; and meet global climate goals in line with the Paris Agreement. The SDS reaches net-zero emissions by 2070 and global temperature rise stays below 1.7-1.8 °C with a 66% probability, in line with the higher end of temperature ambition of the Paris Agreement.1 To achieve this goal, the scenario requires a rapid reduction of carbon intensity of electricity generation, changes in driving behaviour and utilisation of public transport or non-motorised modes (resulting in reduced annual vehicle kilometres travelled and vehicle stock).

The SDS assumes that all EV-related targets and ambitions are met, even if current policy measures are not deemed sufficient to stimulate such adoption rates. In this scenario, the collective target of the EV30@30 signatories to achieve 30% sales share in 2030 for light-duty vehicles, buses and trucks is surpassed at the global level (reaching almost 35%), which reflects increasing ambitions for widespread EV deployment.

Global EV stock by mode in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2020-2030

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Global EV stock by mode in the Stated Policies Scenario, 2020-2030

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In the Stated Policies Scenario, the global EV stock across all transport modes (excluding two/three-wheelers) expands from over 11 million in 2020 to almost 145 million vehicles by 2030, an annual average growth rate of nearly 30%. In this scenario, EVs account for about 7% of the road vehicle fleet by 2030. EV sales reach almost 15 million in 2025 and over 25 million vehicles in 2030, representing respectively 10% and 15% of all road vehicle sales. 

Global EV sales by scenario, 2020-2030

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In the Sustainable Development Scenario, the global EV stock reaches almost 70 million vehicles in 2025 and 230 million vehicles in 2030 (excluding two/three-wheelers). EV stock share in 2030 reaches 12%.

Two/three-wheelers

Two/three-wheelers are easy to electrify because their light weight and short driving distances require relatively small batteries, which also raises fewer issues related to charging from power systems. On a total cost of ownership basis, electrification already makes economic sense in some regions. At more than 20%, two/three-wheelers are the most electrified road transport segment today.

Electric two/three-wheelers are projected to continue being the largest EV fleet among all transport modes. Growth is mainly in Asia where two/three-wheelers are prevalent. The global stock of electric two/three-wheelers in the Stated Policies Scenario increases from over 290 million in 2020 to more than 385 million in 2030, to account for a third of the total stock in 2030. Sales of electric two/three-wheelers increase from almost 25 million in 2020 to 50 million in 2030, when they account for more than half of all sales.

In the Sustainable Development Scenario, the global stock of electric two/three-wheelers reaches over 490 million in 2030, around 40% of the total stock for two/three-wheelers. This corresponds to sales of over 60 million in 2030, accounting for almost 75% of all sales, a 25% increase relative to the Stated Policies Scenario.

Light-duty vehicles

In the Stated Policies Scenario, the electric LDV stock rises from about 10 million in 2020 to around 50 million vehicles in 2025 and almost 140 million vehicles in 2030. Globally, the stock share of electric LDVs increases from less than 1% today to 8% in 2030. Sales of electric LDVs rise from 3 million in 2020 to 13 million in 2025 (sales share of 10%) and 25 million in 2030 (17% sales share). In the Sustainable Development Scenario, almost 220 million electric LDVs are projected to be circulating worldwide by 2030 (of which only 20 million are light-commercial vehicles), corresponding to an almost 15% stock share. Sales of electric LDVs are projected to reach 45 million in 2030 (35% sales share), an 80% increase relative to the Stated Policies Scenario. Governments and the private sector have announced several policies and targets regarding LDV electrification, which impact the scenario results.

Buses

The global electric bus fleet increases from 600 000 in 2020 to 1.6 million in 2025 and 3.6 million in 2030 in the Stated Policies Scenario, hitting 5% and 10% stock shares respectively. Most of the electrification is limited to urban buses, driven by efforts to reduce air pollution. There is less electrification of intercity buses, which have longer routes and require longer charging time. Overall, in the Stated Policy Scenario, the bus segment is expected to electrify faster than LDVs, reflecting government commitments to convert public transport fleets. 

In the Sustainable Development Scenario, the deployment of electric buses accelerates, reaching over 5.5 million in 2030, corresponding to over 15% of the stock, primarily in urban buses.

Medium- and heavy-duty trucks

The electric truck fleet reaches 1.8 million in 2030 in the Stated Policies Scenario and 3.9 million in the Sustainable Development Scenario, hitting 1% and 3% of the total truck stock respectively. The share of global sales of electric trucks rises from neglible in 2020 to 3% over the projection period (10% in the Sustainable Development Scenario). Electric trucks are particularly used for deliveries in urban areas, where driving distances are shorter and overnight charging is possible. The electrification rate of trucks is the lowest of all vehicle segments, at least for the near term, in part because long-haul trucking requires advanced technologies for high power charging and/or large batteries. Reflecting the relative difficulty of electrifying the trucking sector, fuel economy standards are not stringent enough to require electrification for compliance and other policy or regulatory measures, such as ZEV mandates, tend to be less ambitious than for their light-duty vehicle counterparts. 


Electric vehicle share of vehicle sales by mode and scenario in Europe, 2030

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Electric vehicle share of vehicle sales by mode and scenario in China, 2030

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China

With nearly 60% of two/three-wheelers sold in 2020 being electric, China continues to lead in the electrification of this transport segment in both scenarios. China also continues to have the biggest electric bus sales share in both scenarios, reaching almost 60% in the Stated Policies Scenario and 75% in the Sustainable Development Scenario in 2030. This is no surprise given the country’s leadership in electric bus manufacturing and the high number of bus models available in China.

For LDVs, China is expected to reach 35% EV sales in 2030 in the Stated Policies Scenario. It achieves 43% EV sales in the Sustainable Development Scenario, hitting the government’s 2030 target and on track to achieve the China Society of Automotive Engineers goal of over 50% EV sales by 2035. In both electric LDVs and trucks, China’s sales shares are lower than those in Europe in 2030 in the Stated Policies Scenario, mainly a reflection of the less stringent fuel economy standards and overall regulatory landscape for EVs. The electric truck sales share in 2030 reaches 5% in the Stated Policies Scenario and over 15% in the Sustainable Development Scenario.

In China, EV sales share across all modes (excluding two/three-wheelers) is just over 30% in 2030 in the Stated Policies Scenario and exceeds 40% in the Sustainable Development Scenario. 

Europe

Stimulus measures to soften the economic effects of the Covid pandemic and CO2 fuel economy standards underpin EV sales and are expected to maintain Europe as one of the most advanced EV markets in the coming years. Original equipment manufacturers are backing these goals, with several recently announcing their intention to only sell EVs in Europe from 2030. Europe is expected to lead the global electrification of LDVs in both scenarios. While the EV sales share is similar to that of China in the Stated Policies Scenario in 2030, Europe’s overall clean energy ambitions as reflected in the Sustainable Development Scenario require higher electrification efforts to 2030. This is due in part to the European Union net zero 2050 target, EV deployment targets in a number of European countries and the United Kingdom advancing its ban on ICE vehicles to 2035. By 2030, electric LDV sales shares reach almost 40% in the Stated Policies Scenario and 80% in the Sustainable Development Scenario.

To support the European Union Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, Europe must make significant efforts in the electrification of trucks, reflected in a sales share of 30% in 2030 in the Sustainable Development Scenario (compared to about 5% in the Stated Policies Scenario). Europe, along with North America, currently has the most electric heavy-duty truck models available as manufacturers are positioning themselves in view of the European Union net-zero emissions target in 2050. Its heavy-duty CO2 emissions standards also incentivise zero-emission trucks.

Electric two/three-wheelers in Europe start from a low level compared with Asia but reach more than 40% sales share in 2030 in the Stated Policies Scenario. Electric buses attain over 50% sales share in the Stated Policies Scenario and over 65% in the Sustainable Development Scenario, spurred by the European Union Clean Vehicle Directive, which targets EV sales shares ranging from 33% to 65% by 2030 for publicly procured vehicles.

In Europe, EV sales share across all modes is about 35% by 2030 in the Stated Policies Scenario. In the Sustainable Development Scenario, by 2030, Europe has a combined EV sales share (for electric LDVs, buses and trucks) of just over 70%.

Electric vehicle share of vehicle sales by mode and scenario in Japan, 2030

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Electric vehicle share of vehicle sales by mode and scenario in India, 2030

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India

EV sales share across all modes (including two/three-wheelers) in India is above 30% in 2030 in the Stated Policies Scenario. Reflecting the intentions of FAME II, EV deployment in India is mainly achieved through the electrification of two/three-wheelers, which reach a sales share of almost 50%. The rate of electrification of buses and LDVs is lower, below 15% sales share in 2030.

In the Sustainable Development Scenario, EV sales shares in India scale up to almost 50% in 2030 across all road vehicle modes (30% excluding two/three-wheelers). By 2030 almost 60% of all two/three-wheelers sold are electric, as are about 30% of LDVs and buses.

Japan

In the Stated Policies Scenario, Japan reaches almost 30% electric LDV sales share, driven by the country’s current fuel economy standards. In the Sustainable Development Scenario, electrification of LDVs increases more rapidly, reaching 55% in 2030, in anticipation of the announced ICE vehicle ban in the mid-2030s and the 2050 net zero pledge. Although EV and automotive battery manufacturing is very advanced in Japan, in the Stated Policies Scenario it has lower domestic EV sales shares than Europe and China. This reflects Japan’s EV incentive schemes and fuel economy standards that do not include specific provisions for EVs.

In the Stated Policies Scenario, by 2030 EV sales share in Japan across all modes (excluding two/three-wheelers) reach 25%. In the Sustainable Development Scenario, EV sales shares are almost 55% across all modes (except two/three-wheelers), the same as for electric LDV sales shares.

Electric vehicle share of vehicle sales by mode and scenario in the rest of the world, 2030

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Electric vehicle share of vehicle sales by mode and scenario in United States, 2030

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United States

The outlook for EVs has improved with the United States announcing plans to strengthen fuel economy standards, subsidise EVs and charging infrastructure and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. In addition, several states intend to implement zero-emission truck sales requirements. As a result, the United States has the highest sales shares of electric heavy-duty trucks in the Stated Policies Scenario, reflecting the relatively large number (about 70) of electric truck models currently available in North America.

In the Stated Policies Scenario, the 2030 EV sales shares reach about 15% for LDVs, 20% for buses and 7% for trucks. The resulting EV sales share across all modes (excluding two/three-wheelers) is 15%. If additional measures are announced by the new administration, these EV shares may be boosted further. In the Sustainable Development Scenario, the 2030 EV sales shares reach about 50% for LDVs, 65% for buses and over 15% for trucks, resulting in an EV sales share of about 50% across modes.

Other regions

Many countries around the world have not yet developed a clear vision or set targets for electric mobility. A lack of fiscal incentives for EVs, lack of charging infrastructure and higher purchase price hurdles contribute to lower EV sales shares in a number of countries and in the other regions category overall.

For the other regions category in the Stated Policies Scenario, EV sales shares average 5% for LDVs, 8% for buses and 1% for trucks in 2030. The Sustainable Development Scenario assumes higher electrification across the world, though still lagging behind the more advanced markets. In the Sustainable Development Scenario, the other regions category average EV shales shares of almost 15% for LDVs, over 25% for buses and 8% for trucks.

Some of these countries (e.g., Canada, Chile, Colombia, Israel, Korea, Pakistan, New Zealand) have adopted policies and other measures to support vehicle electrification and have net-zero emission pledges, thus have significantly higher sales shares than the averages listed above. For example, Canada’s EV sales share across modes (excluding two/three-wheelers) is 25% in the Stated Policies Scenario and 40% in the Sustainable Development Scenario. Similarly, Korea averages an EV sales share of 25% across modes in the Stated Policies Scenario and 60% in the Sustainable Development Scenario. 

Charging infrastructure

Cumulative installed charging power capacity for electric LDV chargers by scenario, 2020-2030

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Number of electric LDV chargers by scenario, 2020-2030

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EVs require access to charging points, but the type and location of chargers are not exclusively the choice of EV owners. Technological change, government policy, city planning and power utilities all play a role in EV charging infrastructure. The location, distribution and types of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) depend on EV stocks, travel patterns, transport modes and urbanisation trends. These and other factors vary across regions and time.

  • Home charging is most readily available for EV owners residing in detached or semi-detached housing, or with access to a garage or a parking structure.
  • Workplaces can partially accommodate the demand for EV charging. Its availability depends on a combination of employer-based initiatives and regional or national policies.
  • Publicly accessible chargers are needed where home and workplace charging are unavailable or insufficient to meet needs (such as for long-distance travel). The split between fast and slow charging points is determined by a variety of factors that are interconnected and dynamic, such as charging behaviour, battery capacity, population and housing densities, and national and local government policies.

The assumptions and inputs used to develop the EVSE projections in this outlook follow three key metrics that vary by region and scenario: EVSE-to-EV ratio for each EVSE type; type-specific EVSE charging rates; and share of total number of charging sessions by EVSE type (utilisation).

EVSE classifications are based on access (publicly accessible or private) and charging power. Three types are considered for LDVs: slow private (home or work), slow public and fast/ultra-fast public.2

Private chargers

The estimated number of private LDV chargers in 2020 is 9.5 million, of which 7 million are at residences and the remainder at workplaces. This represents 40 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity at residences and over 15 GW of installed capacity at workplaces.

Private chargers for electric LDVs rise to 105 million by 2030 in the Stated Policies Scenario, with 80 million chargers at residences and 25 million at workplaces. This accounts for 670 GW in total installled charging capacity and provides 235 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity in 2030.

In the Sustainable Development Scenario, the number of home chargers is more than 140 million (80% higher than in the Stated Policies Scenario) and those at workplace number almost 50 million in 2030. Combined, the installed capacity is 1.2 TW, over 80% higher than in the Stated Policies Scenario, and provides 400 TWh of electricity in 2030.

Private chargers account for 90% of all chargers in both scenarios in 2030, but for only 70% of installed capacity due to the lower power rating (or charging rate) compared to fast chargers. Private chargers meet about 70% of the energy demand in both scenarios, reflecting the lower power rating.

Publicly accessible chargers

There are 14 million slow public chargers and 2.3 million public fast chargers by 2030 in the Stated Policies Scenario. This accounts for 100 GW of public slow charging installed capacity and over 205 GW of public fast installed capacity. Publicly accessible chargers provide 95 TWh of electricity in 2030.

In the Sustainable Development Scenario, there are more than 20 million public slow chargers and almost 4 million public fast chargers installed by 2030 corresponding to installed capacities of 150 GW and 360 GW respectively. These provide 155 TWh of electricity in 2030.

Electricity demand by type of LDV charger by scenario, 2020-2030

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Implications for electric mobility

Global lithium-ion automotive battery manufacturing capacity in 2020 was roughly 300 GWh per year, while the production was around 160 GWh. Battery demand is set to increase significantly over the coming decade, reaching 1.6 TWh in the Stated Policies Scenario and 3.2 TWh in the Sustainable Development Scenario.

Today the largest demand for EV batteries is in China. It is expected to remain the biggest market in this decade in both scenarios. China is followed by Europe and the United States.

Electric LDVs are expected to continue driving total battery demand for EVs, accounting for about 85% of demand in both scenarios. Battery demand is projected to reach 120 GWh for buses and 100 GWh for two/three-wheelers in 2030. Battery demand for heavy trucks only increases in the Sustainable Development Scenario, exceeding 200 GWh of demand in 2030. In the Stated Policies Scenario, market penetration for electric trucks is limited by the absence of more stringent policies. Battery demand growth is also driven by increases in average battery size, which is expected to rise to enable longer driving ranges and to electrify heavier vehicles such as sport utility vehicles.

A thorough assessment of the implications of EV battery demand on raw materials will be available in a forthcoming IEA report, The role of critical minerals in clean energy transitions.

Announced planned production capacity for EV batteries equates to roughly 3.2 TWh by 2030.This capacity is sufficient to satisfy the battery needs of the Sustainable Development Scenario targets if all battery manufacturing plants are operated at full capacity (currently they operate at about 50% capacity). At least five years are needed from breaking ground for a new battery factory to producing at full capacity. Therefore, for the Sustainable Development Scenario targets to be met, efforts must be made to ensure that all the announced production capacity is built on time and that factories rapidly increase their capacity factors.

Annual battery demand projections by mode of transport and scenario, 2020-2030

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Annual EV battery demand projections by region and scenario, 2020-2030

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Electricity demand from the global EV fleet by charger type, 2030

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Electricity demand from the global EV fleet by mode, 2020-2030

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Oil displacement from the global EV fleet, 2020-2030

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Electricity demand from the global EV fleet by country/region, 2030

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The global EV fleet in 2020 consumed over 80 TWh of electricity (mainly for electric two/three-wheelers in China), which equates to today’s total electricity demand in Belgium. Electricity demand from EVs accounts for only about 1% of current electricity total final consumption worldwide. 

Electricity demand for EVs is projected to reach 525 TWh in the Stated Policies Scenario and 860 TWh in the Sustainable Development Scenario in 2030. LDVs account for about two-thirds of demand in both scenarios. By 2030, electricity demand for EVs will account for at least 2% of global electricity total final consumption in both scenarios.

The EV fleet is expected to become increasingly significant for power systems in both scenarios, possibly driving increments in peak power generation and transmission capacity. Smart charging is of crucial importance to ensure that EV uptake is not constrained by grid capacity. More than half of EV electricity demand in 2030 in both scenarios is via slow chargers, whose timing can be more easily managed to ensure the smooth operation and security of power systems.

China remains the largest consumer of electricity for EVs in 2030, although its share in global EV electricity demand more than halves (from 80% in 2020 to around 35% or less than 30% in the Stated Policies Scenario and Sustainable Development Scenario, respectively). This reflects the spread of electric mobility more widely across the world in the 2020s.

Expanding EV stock also enhances energy security by reducing oil use which today accounts for around 90% of total final consumption in the transport sector. Globally, the projected EV fleet in 2030 displaces over 2 million barrels per day (mb/d) of diesel and gasoline in the Stated Policies Scenario and about 3.5 mb/d in the Sustainable Development Scenario, up from about 0.5 mb/d in 2020. For context, Germany consumed around 2 mb/d of oil products across all sectors in 2018.

Share of electricity consumption attributable to EVs relative to final electricity demand by region and scenario, 2020 and 2030

Country/region

2020

Stated Policies Scenario 2030

Sustainable Development Scenario 2030

China

1.0%

2%

3%

Europe

0.3%

3%

5%

India

0.0%

2%

2%

Japan

0.1%

2%

3%

United States

0.2%

2%

5%

Sources: Electricity demand from EVs was evaluated with the Mobility Model; total final electricity consumption from IEA (2021).

Net and avoided well-to-wheel GHG emissions from the global EV fleet in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2020-2030

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Net and avoided well-to-wheel GHG emissions from the global electric vehicle fleet in the Stated Policies Scenario, 2020-2030

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In 2020, EVs saved more than 50 Mt CO2-eq of GHG emissions globally, equivalent to the entire energy sector emissions in Hungary in 2019. These savings were mainly achieved from the electric two/ three-wheeler fleet in China.

The outlook for the decade is that the expanding fleet of EVs will continue to reduce well-to-wheel (WTW) GHG emissions relative to continued reliance on ICE vehicles powered by liquid and gaseous fuels with the percent net reduction increasing over time. That is because the carbon intensity of electricity generation is expected to decrease at a faster pace than that of liquid and gaseous fuel blends. However, in order to harness the maximum GHG emissions mitigation potential, EV deployment needs to be accompanied by decarbonisation of electricity generation.

In the projections, the WTW GHG emissions from the EV stock are determined for each country/region based on the amount of electricity consumed by EVs and the average carbon intensity of power generation. The assumption is that the average carbon intensity of generation is cut by 20% in the Stated Policies Scenario and 55% in the Sustainable Development Scenario by 2030. The avoided GHG emissions are those that would have been emitted if the projected EV fleet were instead powered by ICE vehicles.

In 2030, the global EV fleet reduces GHG emissions by more than one-third compared to an equivalent ICE vehicle fleet in the Stated Policies Scenario and by two-thirds in the Sustainable Development Scenario.

In the Stated Policies Scenario, the global EV fleet is projected to emit 230 Mt CO2-eq in 2030, but if that fleet was powered by ICE vehicles emissions would be 350 Mt CO2eq, delivering 120 Mt CO2-eq of net savings. In the Sustainable Development Scenario, the WTW GHG emissions from the EV fleet in 2030 are expected to be lower than in the Stated Policies Scenario (210 Mt CO2-eq) reflecting that the increase in the number of EVs is counterbalanced by less carbon-intense power generation. The Sustainable Development Scenario delivers 410 tonnes CO2-eq in net savings.

A recent IEA analysis shows that from a lifecycle perspective (which includes emissions related to vehicle manufacturing, use and end-of-life) BEVs today provide lifecycle GHG emissions reductions of around 20-30% relative to conventional ICE vehicles on a global average. These benefits are more pronounced in countries where the power generation mix is rapidly decarbonising, such as the European Union, where BEV lifecycle emissions are around 45-55% lower. Moreover, the analysis shows that decarbonising the fuel consumed by a vehicle should be the priority to reduce its lifecycle emissions for all powertrains.

By reducing the consumption of oil products, EV uptake lessens the amount of revenue that governments derive from fossil fuel taxes, which is not fully compensated by levies on the increased electricity use. The net tax loss is mainly due to lower overall energy consumption (EVs are two-to-four times more efficient than comparable ICE vehicles) rather than different taxation levels of electricity and oil products.

While this effect on government tax take is limited today, by 2030 the global EV fleet might imply a net fuel tax loss of around USD 40 billion in the Stated Policies Scenario and USD 55 billion in the Sustainable Development Scenario. Governments should anticipate this trend and design mechanisms that enable continued support for EV deployment while limiting the revenue impact.

In the short term, existing taxation schemes should flexibly adapt to changes in the fuel market. For instance, taxes on oil products should adapt to maintain the overall revenue from fuel taxation, despite a net decline in use. However, these short-term measures cannot be protracted in time, as they risk creating distortions and raising equity issues.

In the longer term, the stabilisation of tax revenue – important to support investment in roads and other transport infrastructure – is likely to require deeper reforms in tax schemes. These could include coupling higher taxes on carbon-intensive fuels with distance-based charges. However, it is also important to note that widespread EV adoption will reduce air pollution, offsetting lost tax revenue by reducing health damages and their associated costs

Additional tax revenue from electricity and tax loss from displaced oil products by region and scenario, 2020-2030

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Notes and references
  1. To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 °C (with a 50% probability), further acceleration of EV adoption would be required.

  2. Slow chargers have a power rate below 22 kilowatts (kW); fast chargers have a power rate above 22 kW; ultra-fast chargers have a power rate above 150 kW.

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