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UC Davis report urges policy actions to accelerate equitable transition to ZEVs in Global South

Without targeted support for low- and middle-income countries to transition toward zero-emission mobility, global progress toward zero-emission goals will be critically slowed, risking serious and inequitable outcomes, warns a new report by the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies and the UK government’s ZEV Transition Council, supported by the FIA Foundation.

Facilitating a Transition to Zero Emission Vehicles in the Global South” examines the status of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) uptake across the world and considers how to accelerate the transition. In the report, the Global South is an economic term that refers to low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia.

Recommendations include the need to recognize the varied levels of ZEV policies across these regions, to appreciate the need for equitable funding, and to secure collective, global buy-in to address the global challenge.

This report highlights urgent policy actions needed to achieve a global, inclusive, and equitable transition toward sustainable and low-carbon mobility. It underlines the institute’s commitment to support Global South countries in benefiting from the transition to zero emission vehicles for their development, energy security and environmental protection.

—Dan Sperling, founding director of the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies

The report notes that there has been positive momentum for the ZEV transition worldwide. While much attention is given to electric cars, the report reveals that electric scooters, motorcycles and other two-wheelers—50 million of which are now sold annually—and buses have actually achieved higher EV penetration globally.

Despite these developments, the global distribution of ZEVs remains deeply uneven, the report says. Low- and middle-income countries face unique challenges in decarbonizing their road transport sectors, including unreliable electricity supply, lower vehicle prices, limited access to affordable asset finance and significant flows of used vehicle imports.

The report groups countries according to key metrics including vehicle market characteristics, vehicle manufacturing capacity, battery manufacturing, related supply chains and carbon intensity. It also makes recommendations to enable some of these groupings to “leapfrog” to the best practice policies in support of EV uptake.

By embracing the ZEV transition and leveraging the opportunities it presents, the Global South can simultaneously reduce emissions, drive economic growth and improve public health. To do this, though, they need the support of other more developed countries which are facing this transition alongside them.

—Sheila Watson, FIA Foundation deputy director

The report emphasizes the importance of international cooperation and increased funding to address these challenges and ensure a just and equitable transition. It highlights the significance of the ZEV Transition Council in facilitating policy developments and fostering collective buy-in among stakeholders. Leveraging the council’s convening capacity will play a critical role in building capacity and directing financial support toward low- and middle-income countries, the report says.



I don't believe that the existing market-based, localized manufacture/ retail/ maintenance system as is present in westernized, developed countries will work in the foreseeable future in the identified markets above for EV and its supply chain. Also, framing it as a 'just and equitable' investment is just charity and pity-talk. This will antagonize the locals and shame the government.
A rental and short-term lease program with centralized charge/ repair/ storage will concentrate technology and expertise while allowing easy and affordable access for all. As with municipal bike-share, no one owns or keeps EVs, they just pick them up in the morning, do their daily needs, and return in the PM as needed. Cleaning, maintenance, charging, and upgrade are centralized; ideally for a reasonable monthly fee - upon return, in good condition, of assets, daily. Questions of insurance, liability, theft, are of course, complexities to be figured out locally.

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