A critical review of ZEV deployment in emerging markets

Promotion of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) technologies is a key global strategy for decarbonizing the transport sector and helping to achieve long-term climate goals. ZEV sales are increasing rapidly in the world’s leading passenger vehicle markets, including China and many of the countries represented in the ZEV Transition Council (ZEVTC). However, ZEV uptake has been much slower in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) including low- and middle-income countries. Without additional ZEV policies beyond baseline year 2020, well-to-wheel CO2 emissions are projected to double in 2050 over the 2020 level, compared to a 5% increase for the ZEVTC countries and China combined. However, with significant ZEV uptake, CO2 emissions in EMDEs could fall 51% below 2020 levels by 2050. Therefore, to reach the climate goal of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, acceleration of the transition to ZEVs is needed in EMDEs as well as in leading ZEV countries. Many of the ZEVTC governments are well-positioned to support a ZEV transition in EMDEs and have committed to accelerating the global ZEV transition. In this paper, make specific recommendations regarding how ZEVTC governments can contribute to a ZEV transition in EMDEs. To arrive at these recommendations, review and evaluate the status of ZEV uptake and ZEV policies in EMDEs; identify policy gaps and barriers, and strategies for leapfrogging to electrification; and quantify the existing and required level of international financial support to promote early phases of ZEV uptake in EMDEs.

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