Many Countries Plan EV Conversion by 2035

Article By : Egil Juliussen

Nearly 60 countries have plans to ban the sale of ICEVs, steadily pushing toward an EV-dominant future.

There are nearly 60 countries that plan to ban the sale of internal-combustion–engine vehicles (ICEVs). There are also more than 45 cities that have ICEV bans or restrictions on future ICEV sales and/or use. In the U.S., ICEV bans are on the horizon in at least 12 states.

As the statistics I’ve collected show, plans for converting to EVs around the world add up to something of great magnitude.

I used Wikipedia as the main source of countries and cities that have bans on ICEVs. A 20–page summary can be found here.

The next table has data on major countries and the European Union as a group, listed alphabetically by country. There is also a summary of other countries that have some ICEV bans.

The second column lists the year when ICEVs will be banned—either by existing plans or goals. Most of the bans are for passenger vehicles or light vehicles (cars, SUVs, and light trucks). The third column has additional information when available.

To give some scale, 2019 light vehicle sales are included. This data is from IHS Markit, which is now part of S&P Global. The 2019 data is used because 2020 and 2021 sales data were negatively impacted by the pandemic.

COUNTRY DATA AND PERSPECTIVES

The above table has data on 16 specific countries and a summary of 26 European Union countries. There is also a summary of 14 other, mostly small countries that have ICEV bans.

Most of the companies have targeted 2035 as the date for banning ICEVs. In the other group, most of the bans were for 2040, with one country listing 2050.

The last column shows 2019 light vehicle sales for each specified country, other countries, subtotal, and worldwide. If all ICEV bans are implemented, 76% of 2035 light vehicle sales would be EVs—assuming sales in 2035 are similar to 2019. By 2040, the EV percentage would increase to 86%.

The yearly country sales mix will, of course, change from 2019 to 2035 and 2040. However, this still gives reasonable perspective on how important ICEV bans are for transitioning to EVs—especially for battery electric vehicles.

The EU needs additional explanation. Currently, most of the EU countries have individual dates for ICEV bans.

However, the EU countries agreed in June 2022 to have a 2035 ICEV ban for all cars and vans. The EU law for this ban is expected to pass in Q4 2022. The EU is well on its way, as EV sales reached 20% of total passenger cars in the first half of 2022.

China is the largest automotive market and accounted for nearly 28% of worldwide sales in 2019. China is furthest along in converting to EVs. China is planning to ban ICEVs in 2035. In the first half of 2022, 24% of passenger vehicle sales were EVs.

Of the big three auto markets (China, EU, U.S.), the U.S. is the slowest in EV conversion. The U.S. is planning to ban ICEVs by 2035, with a 50% goal in 2030. From January through June 2022, EV sales in the U.S. reached 5.2%—well below China and the EU.

Some politicians in some countries have made broad announcements without implementing ICEV legislation bans. Hence, there are no ICEV phase–out plans and no binding legislation in some countries.

On the other hand, many of the ICEV bans were made a few years ago and are likely to become more aggressive due to the rapid growth of EVs and much more support from auto manufacturers.

CITIES BANNING ICEVS

The Wikipedia article mentioned above has a table of ICEV bans for over 50 cities and regions. The ICEV bans are primarily for passenger vehicles. Most of the cities are in Europe, with over 40 entries.

The large concentration of ICEVs in small areas creates major pollution problems in most cities. This is a major reason for banning ICEVs in cities. Many of the cities have earlier bans than countries, with 2025 and 2030 being common.

The bans typically apply to a select number of streets in the urban center or areas of the city where most people live, not to its entire territory. Some cities take a gradual approach to prohibit the most polluting categories of vehicles first, then the next–most polluting, all the way up to a complete ban on all ICEVs.

Here are some examples from Wikipedia’s list:

  • Belgium: Antwerp (2030) and Brussels (2030)
  • Canada: Quebec (2035) and Vancouver (2030)
  • China: Hainan (2030)
  • Denmark: Copenhagen (2030)
  • Ecuador: Quito (2025)
  • France: Paris (2035)
  • Germany (bans on older diesel vehicles): Berlin (2019), Bonn (2019), Düsseldorf (2014), Frankfurt (2019), Hamburg (2018), Munich (2012), Stuttgart (2019), and Wiesbaden (2019)
  • Greece: Athens (2025)
  • Italy: Milan (2030) and Rome (2024)
  • Mexico: Mexico City (2025)
  • Netherlands: Amsterdam (2030), Eindhoven (2030), and The Hague (2030)
  • New Zealand: Auckland (2030)
  • Norway: Oslo (2030)
  • South Africa: Cape Town (2030)
  • Spain: Barcelona (2030) and Madrid (2025)
  • K.: London (2030) and Oxford (2035)
  • S.: Los Angeles (2030; buses by 2025) and Seattle (2030)

Some of these cities with the world’s largest population are on the list and have large numbers of cars in use and yearly sales.

Twelve cities have signed the 2017 Fossil Fuel Free Streets Declaration, committing to ban ICEVs by 2030. However, this declaration may not turn into legislation to ban ICEVs. The 12 cities are Auckland, Barcelona, Cape Town, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Mexico City, Milan, Quito, Seattle, and Vancouver.

The German cities primarily have bans on older diesel vehicles starting as early as 2012, with 2019 being the latest. This includes diesel vehicles based on EU emissions standards introduced between 1992 and 2005.

U.S. STATES

California is the main driver of ICEV bans in the U.S., with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as the leading organization. Why? The largest sources of air pollution are also the largest sources of carbon emissions. In many cities, ICEV–based transportation is the biggest contributor of pollution and carbon emissions. Hence, CARB became the key organization to improve both air pollution and carbon emissions. The result is that CARB has been making regulations for zero–emissions vehicles (ZEVs) for over 20 years.

Because California had emissions regulations prior to the U.S. 1977 Clean Air Act, other states can adopt the more stringent California emissions regulations as an alternative to federal standards. Thirteen other states and Washington, D.C., have adopted the California emissions regulations. Eleven states have adopted the California ZEV regulations: Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

In September 2020, the California governor signed an executive order that by 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California will be ZEVs.

CARB also has a mandate to transition medium– and heavy–duty vehicles into ZEVs. In September 2019, California passed its law on phasing out ICEV–based medium and large trucks—commonly called the “Ditching Dirt Diesel” law. This requires CARB to develop a strategy for deploying ZEV–based technologies for medium– and heavy–duty vehicles—including establishing goals and incentives for ZEV technology advancements by 2030 and beyond.

The Wikipedia article also lists two more states with ICEV bans: North Carolina for 2035 and Washington by 2025 for passenger cars and 2030 for light trucks.

SUMMARY

The ICEV bans have had a positive impact on the EV industry and created incentives for growing investment in electrification technology. The ICEV bans are likely to have a growing impact on EV conversion in many cities and countries.

The key ICEV ban is in the European Union. In June 2022, the European Parliament agreed to support a proposed ban on selling new cars with combustion engines in 2035. This is expected to lead to EU laws by Q4 2022. Other countries and regions are expected to follow.

ICEV bans will remove many uncertainties for auto manufacturers by removing uncertainty about consumer preferences to embrace EVs and technologies.

This article was originally published on EE Times.

Egil Juliussen has over 35 years’ experience in the high-tech and automotive industries. Most recently he was director of research at the automotive technology group of IHS Markit. His latest research was focused on autonomous vehicles and mobility-as-a-service. He was co-founder of Telematics Research Group, which was acquired by iSuppli (IHS acquired iSuppli in 2010); before that he co-founded Future Computing and Computer Industry Almanac. Previously, Dr. Juliussen was with Texas Instruments where he was a strategic and product planner for microprocessors and PCs. He is the author of over 700 papers, reports and conference presentations. He received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University, and is a member of SAE and IEEE.

 

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