The future of mobility depends upon the adoption of electric vehicles

It is already cheaper to drive an electric vehicle (EV) but most people don't - current global penetration of EVs is around 3%.

Disincentives to purchasing EVs include: a higher - but falling - upfront vehicle cost; misinformation about the real carbon savings; concern about vehicle range and access to charging networks; lack of suitable financing options; and worries about resale value.

  • China is by far the biggest market by volume (around 1.2 million passenger EVs were sold in 2019, but less than 1% of cars on the road are electric) and Norway has the highest EV penetration at around 10%.

  • EVs can be powered by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. For light duty vehicles, battery technology is expected to dominate, except where uninterrupted range is required or heavy loads are being hauled, due to the lower cost and the fact that no additional refuelling infrastructure will be required. In the heavy vehicle segment (buses, trucks) there may be more demand for hydrogen powered vehicles.

  • At least 14 countries and 31 cities have already announced plans to phase out the sale - and in some cases the use - of internal combustion engine (traditional) vehicles by certain dates. The value of these commitments lies mostly in signalling as it is widely expected that the up-front cost of battery electric vehicles will be equal or lower than internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalents by 2030 making the electric option compelling to all new buyers.

Country plans to phase out the internal combustion engine

The status of these commitments varies by country. Some are announced intentions while others are legislated.
CountryYear ban takes effect
Costa Rica2050
Norway2025
Sweden2030
UK2040
Slovenia2030
Sri Lanka 2040
Spain2040
France 2040
Netherlands2030
Germany 2030
Singapore2040
Israel 2030
Ireland2040
Iceland2030
DenmarkLobbying for EU-wide ban by 2040