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Electric vehicles offer many benefits compared to conventional vehicles that use internal combustion engines, but also face numerous barriers to deployment.

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Introduction

Electric vehicles (EVs) take many forms (e.g. passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, and two-wheelers) and use different powertrain technologies (e.g. hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric). They offer many benefits compared to conventional vehicles that use internal combustion engines, but also face numerous barriers to deployment (see figure below). 

 

 Figure 1: EV Technology Types

 

Table 1: Benefits and Barriers of EVs

Benefits of EVs

Barriers to EV Deployment

  • 3-4 times more efficient per unit of input energy
  • Lower fuel and maintenance costs
  • Reduced or displaced air emissions
  • Better low-end torque for acceleration, heavy loads, and hill climbs
  • Quiet operation
  • Higher up-front costs (before incentives)
  • Reduced range and charging convenience
  • Range sensitivity to temperature and duty cycle
  • Reduced vehicle variety
  • Consumers unfamiliar with technology

Globally, while deployment of EVs is accelerating, they still only represent a small fraction of vehicle sales in most countries. China is currently leading the deployment of several types of EVs, including passenger vehicles, buses, and two-wheelers. 

Reading List and Case Studies

Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BloombergNEF), 2020

Electric Vehicle Outlook is BloombergNEF's annual long-term forecast of how electrification, shared mobility, and autonomous driving will impact road transport from now through 2040. The executive summary, available to the public, summarizes the full report’s results. The report covers light duty passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, buses, and two or three-wheeled vehicles. The report draws on BloombergNEF's team of specialists around the world and looks at how these trends will impact the automotive, energy, infrastructure, and battery materials markets over the next 20 years.

Global EV Outlook 2020

International Energy Agency, 2020

Global EV Outlook is an annual publication that identifies and discusses recent developments in electric mobility across the globe. The report examines key areas such as EV and charging infrastructure deployment, ownership cost, energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and battery material demand. This edition features case studies on transit bus electrification in Kolkata (India), Shenzhen (China), Santiago (Chile) and Helsinki (Finland). The report includes policy recommendations that incorporate learning from frontrunner markets to inform policy makers and stakeholders who are considering policy frameworks and market systems for EV adoption.

Electrifying Transport in USAID Partner Countries: Key Issues and Case Studies

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2020

In this webinar, leading experts from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory share insights about key topics related to EV deployment. Real-world examples and case studies of EV analysis from Jamaica, Mexico, and the United States are also featured.

The Value of Motorcycle Electrification in Mexico City

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2020

Mexico City faces a multitude of transportation challenges including poor air quality, traffic congestion, and inequitable access to transit. This brief discusses the potential benefits of motorcycle electrification in Mexico City. Through a series of stakeholder working group engagements, researchers discovered that city officials wanted to improve air quality and mobility access in Mexico City and saw motorcycle electrification as a potential pathway to do so. Researchers conducted a technical evaluation of the potential benefits of motorcycle electrification, demonstrating that partial electrification of motorcycles could result in a meaningful reduction in air pollutants.

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