While Australia doesn’t exactly lead the world in terms of electric vehicle adoption, five countries are leading the charge (pardon the pun) to a full-scale adoption of electric and alternative fuelled vehicles.
So far Germany, the United Kingdom, the Canadian province of Quebec, Norway and the Netherlands are all looking at moving to zero emissions vehicles within 35 years, with the UK having set an even earlier target of 2040 for the changeover.
Initially the Netherlands and Quebec, along with the US state of California announced a Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance to speed up the adoption of battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles.
Despite the take-up rate for zero emissions vehicles sitting at just five percent of new vehicles sold in the Netherlands, and a more encouraging 16.6 percent of sales in California, those two jurisdictions lead the world in terms of take up.
Just last week Germany also joined the ZEV Alliance, no doubt encouraged by the furore surrounding Volkswagen’s diesel emissions defeat device scandal. Germany is Europe’s largest producer of vehicles.
The United Kingdom, in proposing an earlier 2040 adoption date, will, if this proposal remains in place, permit only ultra-low carbon emitting vehicles on its roads for non-commercial use. It also proposes to introduce a congestion-based road pricing system for vehicle users.
While the ZEV alliance includes plug-in hybrid vehicles initially, the group is working towards “ambitious, achievable targets” for vehicle emissions in each of its locations. While they haven’t expressly stated as much, it’s a safe bet that over time, the hybrid component will be eventually phased out for greener technology.
Along with the five founding participants in the ZEV alliance, the US states of Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, in addition to California (which is in the process of setting up a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure), are also lending their weight to the alliance.