WWF-UK Report Indicates 1.7 Million EVs Needed in UK by 2020 to Meet Current Emissions Standards

April 21st, 2011 BY njkaters | 1 Comment

The United Kingdom branch of the World Wildlife Federation (WWF-UK) issued a report indicating progress needed toward EV adoption in the UK. This report entitled Electric Avenues: Driving Home the Case for Electric Vehicles in the UK uses three scenarios to determine the impacts of EV adoption in the region. WWF-UK and Element Energy created Electric Avenues to pressure legislators, businesses and consumers to at least meet the emissions goals of the Climate Change Act of 2008. This national legislation requires the UK to cut 80% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 with a 34% reduction by 2020.

Electric Avenues assumes that plug-in hybrids and full EVs will split the market evenly in the next 30 years. The report also assumes the drastic reduction of carbon emissions in electrical production throughout the UK by 2030. WWF-UK offered a forecast based on the Climate Change Act of 2008 called the extended scenario. This situation would yield at least 1.7 million plug-ins and BEVs by 2020 and 6.4 million units by 2030. Electric vehicles would represent 6% of all cars in the UK by 2020 and 18% in 2030 in the extended scenario.

WWF-UK also ran through stretch and business-as-usual scenarios that bracketed the 34% reduction in the Climate Change Act of 2008. The stretch scenario assumes the UK achieves 42% carbon reductions by 2020 and a 75% reduction in car emissions by 2030. This simulation reveals 4.2 million EVs in the UK by 2020 and 26.3 million by 2030, representing 44% and 80% of all vehicles in the UK respectively. Electric Avenues concludes that the stretch scenario would yield $8 billion per year in reduced fuel imports by 2030. The business-as-usual simulation assumes that the UK would allow green vehicle grants to lapse in 2012 and fail to provide incentives for future purchases. WWF-UK concludes that only 160,000 EVs would exist in the UK by 2020 and 1.6 million by 2030 under these conditions.

The primary goal for WWF-UK is 100% renewable energy in the United Kingdom by 2050. Electric Avenues targets auto emissions that represent 14% of carbon emissions in the United Kingdom. The financial problems facing the United Kingdom could push EV adoption closer to business as usual than the extended or stretch scenarios. Another strike against the ambitious goals of Electric Avenues is the sluggish rate of EV adoption at present. The Department for Transport notes that only 61,000 hybrid-electric vehicles and 1,400 all-electric vehicles operated in the UK in 2010. These figures layered with a decline in EV sales since 2007 could prove problematic for widespread adoption in the UK.