Powering the future of electric vehicles: The global charging imperative
The electrification of the auto industry and the rise of EVs
The electrification of the automobile industry represents a monumental and necessary shift for the transportation sector and the global economy. Several catalysts for change, from technological advancements and environmental concerns to changing consumer preferences, have crystalised a global consensus on the need to transition towards low-carbon economies worldwide. Governments, too, are taking matters seriously, with net-zero targets being announced and many countries phasing in bans on internal combustion engine (ICE) automobiles.
Transportation is a major source of greenhouse gases, accounting for 20% of global CO₂ emissions, primarily from ICE vehicles. Widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is seen as the most promising pathway to curtail CO₂ emissions, with the potential to reduce them by 80% by 2050, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The uptake of hydrogen as an alternative fuel, especially for heavy-goods vehicles, may also play an increasingly important part in the energy transition, though respondents to our survey are nearly unanimous in their belief that EVs’ role will be considerably more meaningful.
EVs’ share of the overall car market has risen significantly across all geographies in recent years. Accounting for less than 5% of new cars sold in 2020, that share almost doubled to 9% in 2021 and climbed again to 14% in 2022, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). China contributed around 60% of global EV sales last year, and in August 2023 more than one in four cars sold in the country were electric (26%), according to CleanTechnica statistics. That market is followed by Europe, where more than one in five of all new cars sold was electric last year, and then the US, where EVs accounted for 8% of car sales.
Global Head of Sustainability
DLA Piper, London
Risks inevitable in new markets
Our findings illustrate clearly how Europe is regarded as a world leader in setting ambitious EV adoption objectives. In February 2023, the European Commission set a target for all new cars sold in the European Union (EU) to produce zero CO₂ emissions by 2035. Meanwhile the current UK government intends for the sale of petrol and diesel-powered cars in the country to be banned by 2035.
Partner and Chair of the Transportation Regulatory Practice
DLA Piper, Washington, DC
Partner and Global Co-Chair of the automotive subsector
DLA Piper, Munich
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