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100% of new cars must be electric by 2035 – report warns

Electric vehicles will need to account for 100% of all new passenger cars within 20 years in order to meet climate change limits, a new report has warned.

Electric vehicle

Sales of petrol and diesel cars will need to be phased out within 20 years, the report warns.

Issued by the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) consortium, the document sets out the challenges for achieving targets set out in the Paris Agreement last year – namely that global temperatures should rise by less than 2°C, but that 1.5°C is ideal.

CAT is warning that global fuel economy standards would need to be doubled by 2030, and fully electric vehicles would need to reach a 50% share of the passenger car market by that point, to reach even the 2°C target.

In order to achieve the lower limit, the entire global vehicle parc would need to be electric vehicles by 2050, which would require the last fossil fuel powered model to be registered in around 2035 based on a 15-year average lifespan.

Even then, the shift would require decarbonisation of the electrical grid, and efforts to achieve negative CO2 emissions could also be needed.

Michiel Schaeffer of Climate Analytics, a member of the consortium, said: “Even a date of 2035 or so for the last new fossil-fuel powered passenger car could be late: the earlier we decarbonise the transport system, the less we will need to rely on negative emissions that largely require technologies still awaiting large-scale deployment.”

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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