EVs would help the transition to e-mobility

In a recently published study, the World Bank highlighted the viability and cost-effectiveness of electric vehicles (EVs), which “offer a feasible option to kick-start the transition to ‘e-mobility’, particularly in developing countries.

According to the document, entitled “The Economics of E-Mobility for Passenger Transportation”, the electrification of means of transport is one of the solutions most often mentioned to put the world on the path to carbon neutrality.

He further underlines that “in developing countries, with low emissions, switching from conventional vehicles to EVs provides additional benefits: improved air quality, last mile service in isolated areas and reduction of dependence on -to fuel imports.

Despite these advantages, EVs remain relatively rare in these countries: in 2021, the vast majority of the 6.6 million electric vehicles sold worldwide were in a few major global markets, such as China, Europe or the United States.

Their purchase price is higher than that of thermal vehicles, the difference sometimes exceeding 70%, which represents a financial obstacle for many consumers in developing countries, notes the Washington-based institution.

The new World Bank study shows that in many markets, the cumulative fuel and maintenance savings over the lifetime of an EV more than offset the difference in upfront cost.

In addition, in about half of the countries studied, the economic profitability of electric mobility is already high if we take into account and translate into monetary value its benefits for health and the environment.

Its viability should also increase by 2030, due to lower prices and the proliferation of charging stations.

“We already knew the importance of a transition to electric mobility,” said Riccardo Puliti, Vice President for Infrastructure at the World Bank. This study confirms that it is feasible. Our report clearly establishes it: all countries must adopt a plan for integrating electric vehicles into their sustainable mobility strategy. »

In addition to highlighting the economic interest of electric mobility, this document highlights several actions that governments and financial institutions could take to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.

“We observe that investments in charging infrastructure are up to six times more effective than incentive subsidies for the purchase of EVs,” underlines the World Bank, which recommends advancing the creation of innovative models in in hire-purchase and battery recycling in order to reduce the cost of vehicles, and encourage an increase in bank financing.

States will also have to consider the budgetary implications of the transition to “e-mobility”, in particular in the event that fuel taxes represent a significant part of their tax revenues, or that the financial viability of electricity suppliers is already weak.

For Cecilia Briceno-Garmendia, Senior Economist in the WB’s Transport Unit and lead author of the study, “mobility plays a vital role in connecting people to jobs and education and giving them access to services essentials and new perspectives. But every year, due to health problems caused by air pollution, 7.8 million years of life are lost”.

“There is an urgent need to reduce the emissions produced by transport and this requires mobilizing all the means at our disposal to decarbonize this sector, including electric mobility in particular”, she said, noting that for developing countries , the question today is no longer to know “if” this transition should be initiated, but rather “how” and “when” they will achieve it.

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