EV sales surge to record levels, but more efforts needed to curb global emissions

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Sony electric vehicle Vision-S 02 is displayed in Tokyo, Japan, earlier this year. A new report by the International Energy Agency shows Electric vehicles are on pace to eclipse record levels in 2022, but more efforts are needed for the world to achieve zero-emissions within the next 25 years, the group said. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 23 (UPI) — In a positive sign for the environment, electric vehicles sales are on pace to eclipse record levels in 2022, but more efforts are needed for the world to achieve zero emissions within the next 25 years, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.

The Paris-based energy policy organization published its annual update on Tracking Clean Energy Progress, which noted “encouraging signs of progress across a number of sectors” but called for “stronger efforts” that would continue to move vehicles away from fossil fuels.

The report examined 55 separate aspects of world energy markets, such as electric vehicles and LED lighting, and projected their economic outlooks through the end of the decade.

Global sales of electric vehicles doubled in 2021 and were expected to account for 13% of all car sales by the end of 2022, an increase of 4% over the previous year and an all-time high, the IEA said.

The report emphasized that people around the world were increasingly trading in their traditional cars for electric ones, putting the global auto industry on track to meet its zero-emission goals by 2050.

Nearly 7 million electric vehicles were sold in all of 2021, followed by 2 million sales in just the first quarter of 2022, a 75% increase year-over-year, the report said.

The United States has also seen recent acceleration in electric vehicle industry, with automakers doubling up on production due to higher demand.

Last week, President Joe Biden also announced $900 million in federal funding to build a national network of EV charging stations in a continuing push to promote more electric vehicle manufacturing across the country.

In a statement, IEA executive director Fatih Biroh expressed optimism about the trajectory of the auto industry, but also noted that many challenges lay ahead.

“This reaffirms my belief that today’s global energy crisis can be a turning point towards a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system,” he wrote. “But this new IEA analysis shows the need for greater sustained efforts across a range of technologies and sectors to ensure the world can meet its energy and climate goals.”

One such obstacle exists in developing countries, where the introduction of electric vehicles and chargers can be problematic due to high cost and the lack of basic infrastructure like roads and power lines.

The report also listed more than 50 energy sectors around the world that did not show as much promise as electric cars.

“Areas not on track include improving the energy efficiency of building designs, developing clean and efficient district heating, phasing out coal-fired power generation, eliminating methane flaring, shifting aviation and shipping to cleaner fuels, and making cement, chemical and steel production cleaner,” the report said.

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