Moving the American Auto Industry Beyond Gas and Diesel
Countries around the world are making significant strides toward a future without gasoline or diesel powered vehicles. The roads will still be busy but with electric and hybrid cars and, in some cases, potentially zero emissions. Like other environmental goals, this has become a global effort with a diverse group of nations promising to cease production of gas or diesel cars within the next several decades. Importantly, participating nations are some of the world’s largest car manufacturers and markets (or both); ten nations account for 95% of the global market share of electric cars.
Across the world, sales of alternatively powered vehicles are exploding as prices drop, battery efficiency improves and compatible infrastructure is built.
An Electric Future for the U.S.?
The United States has yet to determine any federal plan that would phase out traditionally fueled vehicles. Instead, several states and some large cities have begun to take action locally. California, infamous for its smog, made headlines after the legislature proposed a bill that would require all cars to get 50+ miles per gallon by 2025 and non-electric or hybrid cars off the road by 2040. San Francisco is even taking initiative to outright ban vehicles in several of the busiest areas of the city. Other sectors of industry have steadily decreased emissions, leaving vehicle emissions as the single largest pollutant in the United States, and therefore an obvious target for environmental regulation.
How Other Countries Are Innovating
Though the United States may be several years away from any federal goals that would eliminate gas-powered cars, many other nations have announced plans to do so. Here’s a list of five of the most ambitious:
- Norway – With the shortest timeline to phase out gas powered cars, Norway has announced its plan to ban the sale of gas powered cars by 2025. Far outpacing any other nation, electric cars accounted for nearly 30% of the market share in 2016. That number will grow fast; electric cars accounted for over 40% of sales in 2017. With almost all of its electricity production coming from hydro power, Norway’s transportation could be emission free within several decades.
- China – Leading the world in both electric cars manufactured and registered, China has had the largest impact on the industry globally. China accounted for nearly half of the 750,000 new electric vehicles that were put on the road in 2016, bringing their electric car market share up to 1.5%. The nation recently announced plans to increase that number to 20% by 2025, and is in the process of planning a complete ban.
- United Kingdom – Following its European neighbors’ lead, the UK has increased tax incentives for extremely low or no emission vehicles, boosting sales and expediting future eradication of gas-powered cars. Oxford plans to be the first city in the country to do so, ambitiously aiming for 2020, while the government has announced that the ban will be nationwide by 2040.
- Netherlands – The Dutch are a distant second to Norway with over 6% of their vehicle market share going to electric. They have debated a complete ban by 2025 but officially decided on a more conservative target of 2030. Controversy remains over whether the ban will be comprehensive or only include the production of new vehicles.
- India – With pollutant related deaths, by some estimates, at over 1 million per year, India perhaps has the most urgent need for widespread reform. Aggressive models hope for a sales ban of gas or diesel vehicles by 2030, but, unlike its wealthier and smaller counterparts, such a lofty goal will rely heavily on prices plummeting over the next decade.
As the energy landscape continues to shift in the U.S., you can count on A1AutoTransport to continue to evolve our car shipping solutions.
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