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Europe's clean transportation future

The road to net-zero mobility
Maria-Eleni Mageira
Digital Marketing & Communications Manager

One of the largest hurdles for the climate, and a main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, is the transportation section. In the EU, it accounted for 26% of all carbon dioxide emissions in 2018, compared to 16% in 1990. National projections compiled by the European Environment Agency suggest that domestic transport emissions are projected to drop below their 1990 level no earlier than in 2029.

As the urgency to reduce carbon emissions increases, the need for clean and sustainable transportation becomes more apparent. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced new proposed federal vehicle emissions standards that will accelerate the ongoing transition, while the EU visualizes an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Zero-Emission Vehicles: The Key to a Cleaner Future

Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) are an essential component of Europe's clean transportation future. These are vehicles that emit no greenhouse gases or pollutants during operation, or vehicles that are backed with a renewable energy source, such as electric batteries. There are several categories of Alternatively-Powered Vehicles (APVs), including: Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs), and other.
In Europe, sales of Electric Vehicles and plug-in hybrids have been steadily increasing over the past few years, and the trend is expected to continue. Moreover, sales of Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) broke records in 2022. By 2030, the European Union aims to have at least 30 million zero-emission vehicles on the road, clearly embracing the shift to zero-emission mobility. All new cars and vans registered in Europe will be zero-emission by 2035, ending the sale of new cars emitting CO2 (Fit for 55' deal).

As part of the European Green Deal, the EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 90% by 2050. To achieve this target, it has set a number of initiatives and regulations to encourage the adoption of ZEVs, such as financial incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles, as well as regulations that require car manufacturers to reduce their average CO2 emissions for new vehicles. The EU is also investing in the development of charging infrastructure, which has been one of the pain points related to the growth of the EV sector, and in the development of sustainable transportation systems.

With the prices of electric cars in the western world often being prohibitive for the average buyer, certain government initiatives might be under debate. It’s worth noting that registrations for battery electric vehicles dropped around 83% in Germany, from 104.300 in December 2022 to 18.100 in January 2023, following the government’s decision to reduce support payments for new EVs. In the first quarter of 2023, BEV sales increased again in Germany by 13.2% compared to the previous year. However, they are clearly not the main option for new passenger car registrations in Germany. In the following chart, we see the passenger car registration in Europe in Q1 2023, with Norway racing ahead when it comes to the adoption of EVs.

Passenger car reistration in Europe Q1 2023
Source: Electromaps

Environmental – Social – Governance

Both governments and businesses have been focusing on environmental, social, and governance (ESG), due to pressing mandates and consumer behavior. By accelerating the agenda towards net-zero, companies can now create new sources of enduring value and a sustainable future in favor of our communities and the planet. At Movingdots, we are committed to playing our part in this transition. We can support other businesses with measuring their CO2 footprint and making data backed decisions between financial return & sustainability. Together with our parent company, Powerfleet, a global leader of Internet of Things (IoT) software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for fleets, we support change agents in their journey to true digital transformation. Together, we can make a difference. Contact us to learn more.

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