Electric vehicles (EVs) are now a genuine alternative to petrol-powered cars
As the world moves forward into the new decade and towards eventual bans and restrictions on new combustion engines, electric cars are becoming better in terms of quality, reliability and under-friendliness.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are now a genuine alternative to petrol-powered cars. This is getting even more obvious as sales of such vehicles are soaring even during a time when the whole world is under the grasp of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to the statistics from the European Environment Agency (EEA), one in every nine cars sold in Europe was an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. Meaning 11% of all new cars being registered across Europe is an EV, the figure is quite impressive as the percentage has had a staggering increase from a mere 3.5% in 2019.
The increase in the number of EVs on the roads has already shown some benefits, as it has caused a 12% drop in median CO2 emissions emitted by new cars. Reversing the trend of the past three consecutive years where emissions have increased.
Why the market is changing
There are various reasons for such an immediate change in the market trend. One of the reasons could be the strict guidelines from the European Union (EU) on meeting their targets on CO2 emissions for car manufacturers.
Major carmakers are now having to adapt to changes to include more and more low-emission or zero-emission vehicles to make sure they meet the tougher laws imposed on them. The EU has targets to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and in order to reach that high target, by the 2030s and 2040s, electric vehicles need to become a norm.
How major car manufacturers are going green
Companies such as Porsche have stipulated that around 1,300 of its suppliers must use green energy when making Porsche products, as a part of the company’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. This shows how seriously the brand is considering a move towards becoming greener.
This request applies to any companies who provide production materials for new vehicle projects and the suppliers who are unwilling to switch to certified green energy will not be considered for contracts in the long term with Porsche.
The world-famous car manufacturer has its own ambitious goal to be CO2 neutral across its entire value chain by the year 2030. At the moment, the manufacturer’s supply chain is responsible for around 20% of Porsche’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The percentage of which is likely to rise to 40 within the next decade, due to the increasing electrification of vehicles.
"By using only renewable energy sources, our suppliers are following our example in our efforts to reach CO2-neutrality. We plan to have even more intensive talks with our partners in order to drive forward improvements in our sustainability. It is only by working together that we will be able to combat ongoing climate change," explains Uwe-Karsten Städter, Member of the Executive Board for Procurement at Porsche AG.
The company is reducing CO2 emissions in its own plants, for example, the production of the model Taycan—the first all-electric sports car made at their plant in Stuttgart has been carbon neutral since it was launched in 2019.
Porsche has also promised to invest more than a billion euros in decarbonization measures over the next 10 years. A milestone that Porsche is confident about reaching with their Taycan Cross Turismo. The all-rounder among electric sports cars is the world’s first-ever vehicle to be carbon neutral throughout its entire service life. Porsche suggests that more such model series are set to follow this as, by 2030, the company plans to target more than 80% of all new vehicles sold to be purely electric or plug-in hybrid models. They also plan to reach 50% of the target by the year 2025.
On the other hand, top European brands such as Vauxhall and Opel are also among companies that are aiming to increase sales of EVs to 70% in Europe and 40% in the US by the year 2030. Their intention is to become electric-only from 2028. Vauxhall is also looking into ways where they can move to the Asian markets through China. A risky move considered by many as the EV market in the Asian country is extremely high with the dominance of Tesla and the local brand NIO.
Bangladesh too is gradually adapting to electric vehicles
According to Dhaka Tribune’s report, due to lower operational costs, the demand for hybrid vehicles has gone up in the last few years. Brands that dominate the Bangladeshi market such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi are also slowly moving towards hybrid vehicles.
The best-selling four-wheeler in the local market is Toyota Aqua. The specific model can run 33 to 38 km with a single litre of fuel consumption, which is a significantly better performance than gasoline-run vehicles. To put things in perspective, a usual 1500cc petrol-powered car can run 7 to 8 km per litre.
However, the EV market in Bangladesh is still virtually non-existent, but the EVs are sure to gain more foot in the local market as car manufacturers are moving towards catering for that market as mentioned above.
Bangladesh will simply have no option but to learn to adapt to the changes in the worldwide market trend. But the real question remains whether Bangladesh has the infrastructure to support this change in the market scenario. Currently, as of December 2020, the country has just 14 EV charging points with a total capacity of 278KW.
The current government has taken measures in the recent budget to make way for electric cars, eyeing to increase the share of EVs to at least 15% of all registered vehicles by 2030. The government has already drafted an automobile policy in 2020 that considers the matter of providing incentives to the industry stakeholders to encourage local production and assembly of such electric vehicles, as well as reduction of the import duties which are still considered to be extremely high in the current scenario.