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Carbon Tracker: How Electric Vehicles can rise in the Global South

Carbon Tracker: How Electric Vehicles can rise in the Global South

Click here to download the report from Carbon Tracker.

Unlocking the economic potential from vehicle electrification

The global deployment of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) is geographically split; the passenger vehicle fleet in the Global North is rapidly decarbonising through deployments of zero tailpipe emission vehicles. Conversely, new and used BEV sales volumes in the Global South remain at present insignificant. This is largely to be expected in the short-term, as most new vehicle sales are in developed countries; while the Global South continues to be predominantly an export destination for used internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles from the Global North.

This state of affairs has reduced the Global South – where new vehicle sales are limited to companies operating in the region and wealthy private individuals – to a passive role in the overall automotive market, with limited accessibility to affordable vehicles.

It’s therefore a key question, which Carbon Tracker examines in this report, about whether – as the tipping point for BEVs approaches and the associated electric vehicle technology moves down the cost curve – the Global South will have the opportunity to leapfrog the incumbent ICE regime to BEVs and play an active role in the automotive market.

There are significant barriers standing in the way of this opportunity, in part because car manufacturers who have been grounded in a fossil fuel-based transport system (and as they see new ICE sales decline in the North) may transfer their target markets for new ICE products to the South.

Published November 11, 2023

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