SCelecTRA is about depicting the future of Electromobility in Europe. The project is aimed at gathering different approaches (economic, environmental, political and technical) to figure out the best ways to promote the arrival of electrified vehicles such as electric and hybrid vehicles. This unique mix of approaches will allow for:
- the studying of public policies which have been used in the past in order to know which are most effective;
- the modelling (as accurately as possible) of different conditions to create a market for electrified vehicles;
- the assessment of the impacts they will have on the energy sector and how they will help us to move towards a more environment friendly transport sector not as individual solutions but as a mix of solutions as a whole;
- the drawing of a clear roadmap of the actions which should be used in order to create as soon and as effectively as possible a mass-market electromobility in Europe
In a first phase, the environmental benefits of electric vehicles have been assessed for 2030. According to the Life cycle analysis carried out, the use phase dominates the environmental impacts associated with conventional vehicles (mostly gasoline and diesel cars). As the use phase for electric vehicles shows lower values than for conventional ones, the production phase gains relative importance. As a result, the production of lithium ion cells for the manufacturing of batteries and their implications in terms of environmental impacts represent significant issues throughout the life cycle of electric vehicles. Overall electric vehicles represent the most environmental friendly alternative for some of the impact categories in focus, mainly those dominated by fossil energy supply (non-renewable primary energy demand or Global Warming Potential). Furthermore, it is worth noting that conventional and electric vehicles cannot be fully compared as they do not show the same functionality regarding range, charging infrastructure and charging time.
In a second step, the drivers of European mobility have been assessed and it appears the most important drivers of road transport demand are:
- GDP per capita and population changes (size and composition between urban and non-urban areas) have a positive impact on the number of cars and their mobility.
- The price of fuel always has a negative influence on road transport demand.
- Scrappage policies appear to exert a positive impact on new registrations whereas CO2-based car tax or "feebate" systems do not appear to have any influence.
- And these influences are not consistent among the different countries allowing SCelecTRA team to model country dependent adoption responses to policies.
Policies that have already been implemented for supporting the development of electric and hybrid vehicles and/or favouring vehicle renewal programs have been identified like scrappage programs, higher fuel taxes, discounts on electricity rates and purchase incentives. As a consequence, three “supply side policy” scenarios, named “contextual scenarios”, and four “demand side policy” scenarios have been chosen.
Looking at market penetration in 2030 in the five largest markets, in the most optimistic scenario xEV sales share (battery electric vehicles + plug-in hybrid vehicles) in the total sales is 34% in Germany, 32% in Spain, 27% in Italy, 26% in France and 28% in UK. In a most pessimistic scenario these shares are respectively 20%, 11%, 18%, 18% and 17%.