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WWF-UK study finds UK needs at least 1.7M electric vehicles by 2020 to achieve climate targets; 15% of new car sales

A newly released report by WWF-UK concludes that at least 1.7 million electric vehicles—plug-in hybrid and battery-electric—will be needed by 2020 and 6.4 million by 2030 if the UK is to achieve its climate change targets. EVs would then represent 6% of all UK cars in 2020 and 18% in 2030, and 15% and 20% of new car sales in 2020 and 2030, respectively.

The study examines three different scenarios—Business as usual (BAU); Extended; and Stretch—based on low, medium and high levels of EV uptake. The scenarios assume a 50:50 split between plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles. All three scenarios also assume near decarbonization of the grid by 2030. The middle scenario is the one matching the recommended level of EV penetration in line with the UK achieving a 34% carbon reduction target by 2020.

The highest scenario (Stretch) is in line with achieving a 42% carbon reduction target by 2020. The study finds that the highest levels of EV uptake would lead to very significant reductions in UK fuel demand representing more than £5 billion (US$8 billion) per year in avoided oil imports. Also in the highest case scenario, a combination of high EV uptake; improvements in the efficiency of internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs); and demand management measures to reduce the amount people drive could potentially deliver a 75% reduction in car emissions by 2030. EVs could provide nearly a third of this emissions reduction.

WWF-UK says that government subsidies and other incentives will be needed to help get the necessary number of EVs on the road: a minimum of 1 in 17 cars by 2020 and 1 in 6 by 2030. These incentives will have to attractive enough to overcome consumers’ concerns over price, range anxiety and lack of charging points.

It is vital that people start consuming and travelling less to make a transition to a low-carbon economy and reduce our dependency on oil and emissions from cars. Road transport accounts for 40 per cent of petroleum products consumed in the UK so a switch from conventional cars powered by petrol or diesel to EVs would have a much needed impact on reducing fuel demand.

—David Norman, Director of Campaigns, WWF-UK

The study also says that other priorities for innovation and investment are reducing the cost and improving the performance of EV batteries, and decarbonizing the grid. A Europe-wide approach to grid infrastructure will also be needed if EVs are to be powered by a decarbonized European grid, in order to deliver maximum carbon savings both in the UK and on the continent.

The study suggests that biofuels should be considered a last resort for sectors where at present there are no practical alternatives to fossil fuels, such as aviation, shipping and heavy goods transport. The use of biofuels for the passenger car segment should not be considered a high priority, the study says.

It is important to note that these scenarios are intended to provide insights, not forecasts. They aim to provide a better understanding of the role EVs could play, as well as what has to happen in order for EVs to realize their potential. The future is likely to lie somewhere between the scenarios that this report describes. However, it is clear that at least 1.7 million EVs will be needed by 2020 and 6.4 million by 2030 in order to achieve the level of ambition that we need.

—“Electric avenues&Rdquo;

The report is based on research commissioned by WWF-UK and prepared by Element Energy Ltd. It includes the main findings of the consultants’ research and presents the WWF-UK view of what these findings mean.




The UK appears to be the last nation on the planet to accept the death of climate change. But their program to electrify is excellent and they seem on track. So, once the East Anglia children admit their mistakes - all will be good for a sustainable UK. Congratulations!


The WWF is a zero-credibility zone as far as I am concerned. They did a 'report' on CO2 emissions per capita by country in Europe, and Germany came out best.
Deep in the footnotes was the information that they had treated nuclear power output 'as though' it were produced by natural gas, on the grounds that they did not much fancy it! So they invented molecules of CO2 to suit their case.

Don't trust anything from these ideologues, they will stick at nothing in their agitprop.

And do you know what? Not ONE 'green' organisation denounced this misrepresentation!
Not Greenpeace, not FOE, not anybody.
They are ideologues aiming to mislead the public in service to their ideology.

Put any figures they come out with into the bin, because they will be fiddled as necessary.


Reel$$, you're either an imbecile or just completely unwilling to confront the truth. Why do you even bother to comment.



Apparently you do not know the rules here, go back and review them.


Oh beans! Trolls avoid logic with insult.


Apparently, the report ignores the positive impact of significantly more efficient lighting on the reduction of carbon emissions from the grid which will recharge the PHEVs and BEVs. I scanned the full report and found no occurrences of "LED", "CFL", nor "OLED".


I calculated that if a home had solar thermal and PV panels, it could save enough energy to run a car. This is the sort of energy shifting that could pay off on a large scale.


15% full-electrics may be a little hard (although very possible if recent evolution in battery technology goes on), but 40% plug-in hybrids will create more CO2-reduction and will be much easier to reach.

Anyway, 15% by 2020... 20% by 2030 is not a logical evolution. At this moment we are maybe at 0.01%. so we need 12 doublings to reach 15% in 9 years time. Afterwards only 0.5 doublings in another 10 years.
Evolution of technology is almost always on a logarithmic scale. reaching the first 10% is very hard, reaching the other 90% is much easier.


I agree that initially the deployment will be slow, that does not mean we should not do it, but adjust our expectations accordingly.

Once an idea catches on it can accelerate. This may be a good situation, rapid ramp up can cause problems. We all wish we were not as dependent on foreign oil, but steady progress is better than none at all.

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