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Electric vehicle (EV) sales set to hit record high in 2022, says IEA


Tesla electric cars pictured in Germany on March 21, 2022. According to the International Energy Agency, sales of electric vehicles are on track to reach a ‘record high’ this year.

Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images

According to the International Energy Agency, sales of electric vehicles are expected to reach a record high this year, but more efforts are needed in other sectors to put the planet on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050.

In an announcement accompanying its update on tracking clean energy progress, the IEA said there had been “encouraging signs of progress in a number of areas”, but warned that ” greater efforts “were needed to put the world” on track to net zero emissions. around the middle of this century.

The TCEP, which is released annually, examined 55 parts of the energy system. Focusing on 2021, he analyzed the progress of these components towards reaching “key mid-term milestones by the end of this decade”, as outlined in the net zero pathway of the organization based in Paris.

On the electric vehicle front, the IEA said global sales had doubled in 2021 to account for almost 9% of the car market. Looking ahead, 2022 was expected to “see another all-time high for electric vehicle sales, taking them to 13% of total light commercial vehicle sales worldwide.”

The IEA previously said that electric vehicle sales reached 6.6 million in 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, electric vehicle sales were 2 million, an increase of 75% compared to the first three months. of 2021.

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The IEA said electric vehicles and lighting – where more than 50% of the global market now uses LED technology – were “fully on track for their 2030 milestones” in its net zero scenario by 2050. .

Despite the prospects for electric vehicles, the IEA separately noted that they are “not yet a global phenomenon. Sales in developing and emerging countries have been slow due to higher purchase costs and a lack of availability of charging infrastructure”.

Overall, the rest of the picture is more difficult. The IEA noted that 23 areas were “not on track” and another 30 were seen as needing more effort.

“Areas that are not on track include improving the energy efficiency of building designs, developing clean and efficient district heating, phasing out coal-fired power generation, ‘elimination of methane flaring, shifting aviation and shipping to cleaner fuels, and cleaner production of cement, chemicals and steel,’ the IEA said.

The shadow of the 2015 Paris Agreement hangs over the IEA report. Described by the United Nations as a “legally binding international treaty on climate change”, the agreement aims to “limit global warming to well below 2, preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial levels”.

Reducing man-made carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 is seen as crucial to meeting the 1.5 degree Celsius target.

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In a statement released Thursday, IEA executive director Fatih Birol sounded cautiously optimistic. “There are more signs than ever that the new global energy economy is making strong progress,” he said.

“It reaffirms my belief that the current global energy crisis can be a turning point towards a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system,” he added.

“But this new IEA analysis shows the need for greater and sustained efforts across a range of technologies and sectors to ensure the world can meet its energy and climate goals.”

The IEA report comes at a time when debate and discussion about climate goals and the future of energy have become increasingly fierce.

This week, the UN secretary-general said developed economies should impose an additional tax on the profits of fossil fuel companies, with funds being diverted to countries affected by climate change and households struggling with the crisis. of the cost of living.

In a broad speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Antonio Guterres described the fossil fuel industry as “reveling in hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and windfall profits as household budgets shrink and let our planet burn”.

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