Making the switch to more electric vehicles on our roads is a key part of decarbonising transport and reaching net zero emissions. Transport is the second most carbon intensive sector globally behind electricity and heating, with tailpipe emissions from four-wheeled vehicles making up approximately 21 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions in 2020.
According to the International Energy Agency, the transport sector is not on track to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. While sales of EVs continue to increase, adoption rates across the world are patchy. For electric cars the three big markets of China, Europe and the US accounted for 95 percent of sales in 2022, and half of the world’s electric cars — some 13.8 million — can be found on Chinese roads.
However, promising signs are emerging in other parts of the world too. In the first quarter of 2023, electric car sales in India were double what they were at the same time in 2022, albeit from a low base. In April 2023, Australia launched its first National Electric Vehicle Strategy.
Investment in EVs in Indonesia is continuing, although the lack of supporting infrastructure is hindering uptake. And in Southeast Asia more broadly, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are leading the charge towards producing more EVs and EV components locally.
What can countries in the Indo Pacific learn from the success of the big players to turbocharge their own EV markets? How is technology and infrastructure keeping pace with the transition to more electrified transport, and allaying fears about range and charging your vehicle? And are government policies incentivising EVs actually working?