Electric cars, along with low-cost solar power have been recently mooted as ‘game-changers’ in the race to eliminate the world’s reliance on fossil fuel, with the rise in electric cars looking set to halt the growth of fossil fuels completely by as early as 2020.
The fall in the cost of electric cars is being attributed as one of the main reasons why electric vehicles could stall the demand for oil and coal by 2020, according to a report by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative (Guardian, 2017). With electric cars set to comprise 35 per cent of the road transport market by 2035, and over two-thirds by 2050, this could oust the need for up to 25 million barrels of oil per day, resulting in a reduction for the demand for oil and coal. The report takes a number of factors into consideration, such as the latest cost reduction projections for green technology and government emission-reduction targets and finds that electric vehicles will play a major part in the reduction in the growth of fossil fuels, facts which are persistently underestimated by the major energy companies.
The report also projects that the standard polluting fuels could be set to lose out on 10 per cent of the market share to clean power over the course of the decade, with the growth of electric vehicles being pivotal to this. Comparisons are already being drawn to the 10 per cent loss of market share which led to the collapse of the coal mining industry in America and Europe, with major utilities losing £85 billion between 2008 and 2013 as a result of failing to prepare for an 8 per cent increase in renewable energies.
The study highlights how those big energy companies continue to underestimate the transition to low-carbon and clean energy, and could see more drastic effects including the reversal of fossil fuel growth by 2020.
Although the headline figures in the report are positive for the EV business and environment, further innovations in emerging technology could accelerate change even further. Eliminating fossil fuel growth would play a significant role in limiting global temperature rises to between 2.4C and 2.7C above pre-industrial levels. In fact, warming could be capped between 2.1C and 2.3C if there were to be more serious commitments and action from all countries, along with the continuing trend to lower prices of solar and electric vehicles.
Despite these initial positive figures, the report shows that eliminating carbon from the power and road transport industries may not be enough on its own to achieve the pre-set international climate change targets; meaning that reductions in emissions from other sectors will also needed.
Nevertheless, these figures are certainly a positive step for industry and the environment as a whole, and we are proud that electric cars are playing such a leading and game-changing role in eliminating fossil fuel growth.
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