ELECTRICS' POSITIVE FUTURE
ELIZABETH H. LEE CARMUDI - January 2018
If there is one country that can move the global needle on most any issue, it is CHINA. With a potential market of 1.38 billion people, and a low car to person ratio, the growth opportunity for car sales of any kind is tremendous. China IS the biggest consumer market for almost anything worth buying or selling and when it comes to automobiles, it is slowly but surely planting its manufacturing feet firmly on the ground of the future of the industry--- ELECTRICS.
China commands the highest growth market for mass and volume vehicle manufacturers and it is projected to increase its global share of auto sales to 40% in as short as 13 years or by year 2030, according to KPMG. If China has failed to gain a strong foothold in the traditional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) market, it may make it up in the alternative or electric vehicle stage. It will be the industry the country will compete in and may even dominate globally.
How? China is the largest market for automobiles. It has already imposed restrictions and quotas for ZEVs starting 2019 where 10% of new car sales will have to be zero-emission cars, ramping up to 12% by 2020. What's the implication for major carmakers? Invest to massively produce ZEVs if they want to stay in the game and carve their share of the pie not only in the country, but globally. This is good news as for us humans as pollution is becoming a pandemic.
China is choking on its own industrialized weight, not to mention the huge cost of oil imports to the economy to feed its growing addiction to cars. In India, breathing the air in Mumbai for just one day is tantamount to smoking 100 cigarettes. The poor are the most affected. With no clout whatsoever, living on the streets, sleeping on the pavement, inhaling the fumes in on every breath--smog literally rips them off of their right to breathe. Sound familiar?
Norway didn't wait for killer smog to stifle its residents. It imposed and put up a plan for 100% zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) by 2025.
THE RACE TO ZERO
Almost a quarter of vehicles sold in Norway is already a ZEV. Its commitment is a big deal given that it is an oil-rich country. By far, the Norwegians are the most aggressive in this race to ZERO, reaping the benefits of a happy, healthier commute and clean environment-combined, second to none.
India sets the bar for "shock & awe" with a target for all electrics running on its roads by 2030, politics aside. To date, the government is already supporting 3-wheelers (etrikes) and 4-wheelers, incorporating these in the massive government framework. Shared mobility/TNCs the likes of Uber use EVs in their fleet, making proliferation and take-up faster. Indigenous carmakers like Mahindra is in pole position to lead the charge.
Other European countries to include Germany and France have likewise proposed a ban on ICEs making electrification a key government objective. Automakers who are advanced in the EV arena are likely to take advantage and benefit from the move.
THE LOCAL TAKEAWAY
Smog is dangerous to your health. No brainer. Especially if you commute. How do we ease the burden and create a win-win solution for all when it comes to transport and air pollution? We don't need to reinvent the wheel. We can learn from other countries' experiences and successes and apply them locally where it fits.
Integrating EVs in the public transport system allows for faster take-up and massive adoption only government muscle can accomplish. India is already implementing this strategy approving the introduction of EV usage in eleven of its most populous and dense cities with another 44 cities in the pipeline applying for the same. The electric vehicles include 3-wheelers (etrikes), 4-wheelers, and buses. As a positive side effect, electrics can save not only CO2 emissions being dumped in the air but save on oil imports as well.
The commuting public stands to benefit from the use of EVs in its different forms ranging from 3-wheelers to buses. People are aware of the benefits and would welcome the switch from traditional ICEs to cleaner electrics for the benefit of all.