Sales of electric vehicles must increase by 500 percent by 2032 if we are to meet emissions targets

By | March 18, 2024

Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Good morning! It’s Monday, March 18, 2024 and this is The Morning Shift, your daily digest of the most important car news from around the world, in one place. Here are the important stories you need to know.

First gear: we need to sell many more electric vehicles

Slowly but surely, electric cars are filling our streets and highways, as more and more people make the switch to battery power. January alone saw a 15 percent increase in electric vehicle sales in the US, but that is not enough to meet President Joe Biden’s ambitious emissions targets.

In fact, a new report from Bloomberg suggests that electric cars will need to make up more than two-thirds of all cars on American roads by 2032 if we are to meet Biden’s proposed targets. Currently, electric cars make up less than 10 percent of the vehicles on U.S. roads. As Bloomberg explains:

The measure, which sets limits on smog-forming pollution, soot and carbon dioxide emissions, is seen as one of the most consequential climate rules imposed by President Joe Biden. It is also critical to helping the US meet the Paris pledge to at least halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The transportation sector is currently the largest source of planet-warming pollution in the US.

“Cars and light trucks alone account for about 20% of the carbon footprint,” said Manish Bapna, head of the Natural Resources Defense Action Fund. Reducing this is “absolutely essential for real, concrete progress.”

Still, the regulations require a delicate balancing act for Biden, who is courting voters in the swing state of Michigan, including autoworkers concerned about a too-rapid transition to electric vehicles.

The measures, which will be finalized this week, aim to reduce emissions of 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2026 and 2040. To do this, the Environmental Protection Agency would need annual emissions reductions, Bloomberg reports.

2nd gear: VinFast launches a charging network

Charging networks are all the rage these days; Tesla has one that almost every automaker wants a piece of; automakers such as BMW, GM and Honda previously outlined plans to develop their own networks; and now VinFast wants to get in on the EV charging campaign.

After launching its first electric models in 2021, Vietnamese carmaker VinFast is now preparing to roll out its own electric charging network, Reuters reports. The charging network, which would be called V-Green, will prioritize VinFast vehicles worldwide. Reuters reports:

V-Green, of which billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong has a 90% stake, will operate as a global partner and lead the creation of a comprehensive charging network, he said in a statement.

“V-Green will immediately look for land and partners to establish and expand its charging network in VinFast’s key markets,” Vuong said.

VinFast, which was founded by Vuong in 2017 and debuted on the Nasdaq last year, has said it will expand to at least 50 countries by 2024.

To develop the network of fast EV chargers, VinFast founder Vuong will invest more than $400 million in the venture. Over the next two years, V-Green’s project will install new sockets and upgrade other charging locations in countries including Vietnam.

The network will initially focus on charging VinFast vehicles, but Reuters reports that it may also be expanded to other manufacturers after five years.

3rd gear: the solution to the pollution existed all along

Very smart people are always shouting about discovering a new way to clean the air in our cities. Whether it’s switching to zero-emission vehicles, CO2 capture technology or simply planting more trees, there’s always something new to hear. But now a new study has shown that the solution to the pollution of our city centers was actually always there.

According to a new report from Forbes, city leaders around the world already know the best ways to reduce carbon emissions from urban transportation. As the site explains:

The Clean Cities Campaign research shows that if such solutions are implemented, CO2 emissions from urban transport in European cities could be reduced by 90% by 2030.

They include expanding cycling infrastructure, introducing low or zero emission zones and greening the public transport network.

The report modeled four different scenarios in the cities of Brussels, Madrid, Greater Manchester, Milan and Warsaw.

All scenarios lead to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from urban transport by 2030, ranging from 55% to 94%.

The report concluded that it could be “highly possible” for many cities to reach “near zero” urban transport emissions by 2030. To do this, cities should encourage the switch to electric vehicles and encourage people to use public vehicles. transport as much as possible and change the way we design cities to reduce the need for unnecessary travel.

4th gear: Amazon’s Zoox taxis are allowed to go out at night

Self-driving vehicles are having something of a nightmare in California, blocking highways, hitting pedestrians and being set on fire by locals who have had enough of them. Now all that pent-up anger against AVs could be coming to Nevada, because Amazon just got permission to expand its Zoox self-driving taxi service.

Starting this month, Amazon’s Zoox taxis will be able to travel at higher speeds, travel further into the city of Las Vegas and travel at higher speeds, Reuters reports. The cars that will run in Vegas are built and designed by Zoox and will have no in-cab controls. As Reuters explains:

Zoox said it will free up its specially designed vehicles to travel at speeds of up to 72 km per hour, from 35 mph. It also expanded the area in Las Vegas where cars can travel from one mile to eight miles, according to a statement. “When we drive in these larger areas, our robotaxis are exposed to the busiest conditions they have ever experienced,” the company said.

The Zoox vehicles will also operate in light rain and at night, the company said, critical for collecting additional data.

Zoox’s expansion of service in Vegas follows a move across the board in California that allowed some self-driving cars to travel on highways and at much higher speeds.

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