A rapid global transition to zero emission vehicles (ZEV) is vital to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Road transport accounts for over 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the total emissions are rising faster than any other sector. We need to dramatically increase the pace of the global transition to meet our Paris Agreement goals, and to keep the limit of 1.5 degrees warming in reach. This will also offer huge opportunities for jobs and growth, cleaner air, improved public health, and could furthermore boost energy security and help balance electricity grids as we make the transition to clean power.
The Zero Emission Vehicles Transition Council was formed in November 2020, as the world’s first political forum through which ministers and representatives from governments from most of the world’s largest and most progressive automotive markets – that collectively account for more than half of all new car sales globally – meet to discuss how to accelerate the pace of the global transition to zero emission vehicles.
This global transition is underway, and it is accelerating. There are now 8.5 million zero emission passenger vehicles on the roads, and combined national zero emission vehicle targets now represent 41% of the global passenger vehicle market. In parallel, through the ZEV Transition Council (ZEVTC), we have discussed the need to align the pace of the global transition to zero emission vehicles with the goals of the Paris agreement; the role of different technologies in achieving this; effective policy measures governments can take to support the transition; and ensuring a global transition where no country or community is left behind.
In 2022 and beyond, we want to work to continue to accelerate this transition and implement our respective commitments to keep the Paris Agreement goals within reach. We have identified priority areas through which the ZEV Transition Council can collaborate to build on this progress to continue to support a global transition.
Beyond these areas, we recognise the importance of ensuring the transition to zero emission vehicles is just and sustainable so that no community is left behind. The transition to ZEVs will create new jobs and require new competence in the transport and energy sectors. We recognise that competitiveness in the automotive industry and decent work conditions need to be assured in the new economy. We will also work to promote sustainable and circular production of ZEVs.
While our national contexts and policy approaches may differ, the transition will be faster, easier, and at a lower cost for all if we work together. We have agreed that our shared aim is to make zero emission vehicles the new normal by making them accessible, affordable, and sustainable in all regions by 2030.
In 2022, we will work together on the following high priority areas to overcome shared challenges to support the transition to zero emission vehicles.
1: Charging infrastructure
Rapid progress is being made in the deployment of zero emission vehicle charging infrastructure, but more investment is needed in all regions. We will set out our collective vision for global charging infrastructure for light and heavy-duty vehicles, working closely with the private sector. We will launch a taskforce of automotive manufacturers, energy network providers and chargepoint operators to consider actions needed to facilitate deployment. We will discuss how to ensure electricity grids are prepared to support the increased demands of electric vehicles charging, and work together to explore how increased electric vehicle uptake can support balancing our grids with the greater levels of green power.
2. CO2 or fuel efficiency standards and regulations
CO2 or fuel efficiency standards and regulations are a vital measure to support the deployment of both light and heavy duty zero emission vehicles. We will work to develop a shared understanding on the pace of the transition, and will share best practice on effective standards and regulations, with the aims of accelerating deployment of zero emission vehicles, mobilising investment, and bringing down costs.
3. Pace of the transition and technology choices for zero emission heavy duty vehicles
We will aim to reach a stronger consensus on the pace of the transition that is consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. We will develop a deeper understanding of the different technology options and role of CO2 and fuel efficiency standards to support this trajectory. We will work with and explore options for enhancing support for developing countries in the global transition to zero emission heavy good vehicles.
4. Ensure the ZEV transition is truly global
As agreed at the third ZEVTC Ministerial meeting, to help ensure the ZEV transition is truly global, we will launch a new strategic pillar to our work so that no country or community is left behind. We will:
- continue our engagement with developing countries through Regional Dialogues to consider how practical collaboration can overcome region- specific barriers to an accelerated transition to zero emission vehicles
- bring together a taskforce of government officials, multilateral development banks, international organisations and other stakeholders, as required, to:
- coordinate a more tailored, impactful, and effective offer of development assistance, including via existing programmes / initiatives, to support the deployment of zero-emission vehicles and relevant infrastructure in developing countries; and
- provide evidence-based and action-focused recommendations to the ZEVTC on how and where the international offer can be strengthened. Recommendations will be based on experiences and outputs from the Regional Dialogues and wider programmes / initiatives
We will continue to exchange best practice on areas of mutual interest, including, where appropriate:
- ensuring fair consumer access to zero emission vehicles. In addition to ensuring equitable deployment and access to affordable charging, we will explore measures we can take to develop a second-hand market for zero emission vehicles, exploring actions we can take to help it develop, and standards, for example related to vehicle battery health, that could be set to help it function efficiently, sustainably, and fairly, with the aim of adopting these as appropriate for our markets.
- the transition to ZEVs will create new jobs and require new competence in the transport and energy sectors. Competitiveness for the automotive industry and decent work conditions need to be assured in the new economy. The existing workforce may need reskilling and training. We will work to supporting the transition of our industrial bases, including through stakeholder meetings, dialogues with trade unions and those employed in the automotive industry.
- whilst technology is already available to enable this transition, further innovation can help us make this transition quicker and easier. Through our work in 2022 we will also identify areas for coordinated action on innovation
- ensuring that Electric Vehicle (EV) battery supply chains are sustainable and ethical as the transition accelerates. Collaboration – across countries and industry – will be needed in a range of areas to ensure this is possible, including on data, due diligence frameworks, policy to instil circular economy principles and the development of the ecosystem for battery end-of-life. Through our work in 2022, we intend to identify opportunities for coordinated action on supply chains.
We recognise the value of the various international initiatives to support the global transition to zero emission vehicles. The ZEV Transition Council secretariat will convene a coordination group to support the alignment of action between these initiatives, particularly on the priority areas of interest for the ZEVTC as set out above.