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Switching from polluting engines to emissions-free electric vehicles is crucial to decarbonising cars, which are responsible for 12% of all greenhouse gas emissions in Europe.

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To achieve a net zero transport system by 2050, only emissions-free cars should be sold from 2035 at the very latest. The most optimal, efficient and convenient zero emission technology available to drivers across Europe today is battery electric cars.

Analyses of full lifecycle emissions show that electric cars in Europe emit, on average, almost three times less CO2 than equivalent petrol/diesel cars.

Making the transition

But electrification must happen sustainably and not leave anyone behind. That means reforming taxes, adapting supply chains, developing seamless charging networks, and ensuring batteries are produced sustainably.

At the same time, ambitious targets for carmakers are needed to ensure they reduce the average emissions of new cars sold. Their current target is a 15% reduction in 2025, based on 2021 levels. If we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, the last polluting cars must be off the road by 2050. That means new fossil-fuel cars must be sold no later than 2035.

To ensure the transition to e-mobility is fully sustainable and socially responsible, it must be underpinned by a green, ethical and world-leading battery supply chain in Europe. Advancements in battery technology and recycling mean the amount of primary raw materials required will be massively reduced. Meanwhile, new EU rules will address concerns around potential human rights abuses linked to the extraction of battery raw materials.

Low-hanging fruit

Corporate fleets are low-hanging fruit in the decarbonisation of road transport. Company cars account for over half of new cars sold and, because they are driven more than private cars, are responsible for 73% of new-car emissions. Full electrification of fleets should therefore be completed by 2030 at the latest.

But for drivers, the roll-out of charging infrastructure needs to speed up in the coming decade to enable them to seamlessly charge the growing number of electric cars on the road.

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