- Tesla Motors
If we want to meet the environmental goal set at the 2015 Paris Climate Change conference, we need to stop selling cars running on gasoline within the next two decades.
That’s according to a study put together by Climate Action Tracker that was backed by three European research groups. The report states that the last gas-powered car will have to be sold by about 2035 for us to limit global warming to the extent set by world leaders at the Paris summit.
World leaders hailing from 195 countries committed to limiting greenhouse gas emissions to prevent global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels at the Paris summit. This year is set to be the warmest on record, with temperatures around 1C (1.8F) above pre-industrial times.
The study adds that there’s a need for a drastic shift toward electric cars and more fuel efficient transport systems because transportation emits about 14% of world greenhouse gas emissions. It assumes the last fossil-fuel vehicles would be on the roads until 2050.
The CAT report focused most on the promise of electric vehicles, developed by manufacturers from General Motors to Tesla. But it also notes other alternatives, like cars that run on hydrogen.
Competition in the electric car space is mounting, with Tesla planning to roll out its consumer-friendly sedan the Model 3 by the end of 2017 or early 2018. The Chevy Bolt, which has an all-electric range of 238 miles, will hit dearlerships before the end of the year.
As the report notes, a major hurdle preventing mass EV adoption is price.
“Electric vehicles are still more expensive to purchase than other cars, and policy projections still only see a share of around five percent of electric vehicles in the total European Union, China and U.S. fleets by 2030,” the report said.
Automakers like Toyota and Honda are developing hydrogen-powered cars. Toyota plans to sell 30,000 of its hydrogen car, the Mirai, a year worldwide by 2020.
There’s also a need for cleaner power generation to avoid charging electric cars on power based on fossil fuels, the study notes.
“It’s striking that it’s so early – it means a huge change in the whole automobile industry,” Niklas Höhne, of the NewClimate Institute, told Reuters. The other think-tanks behind the report were Ecofys and Climate Analytics.
The Climate Action Tracker is one of the main groups that monitors government actions to restrict global warming and includes researchers who are authors on U.N. climate reports.
(Reporting By Alister Doyle; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky; Danielle Muoio contributed to this report)