A global pledge to help accelerate the move away from gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles to zero-emissions cars and vans gained momentum Nov 17, with more signatories to implement the non-binding commitment at the COP27 climate talks in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh.
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Launching a new group, Accelerating to Zero Coalition, or A2Z, the partnership is led by the UK Government's COP26 Presidency working towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission no later than 2035 in leading markets and 2040 globally.
Originally launched at COP26 in Glasgow last year as the Zero Emission Vehicle declaration, the non-binding agreement largely fell short of expectations, with China, the US and Germany, and a clutch of major automakers all failing to sign the accord.
The total number of signatories to the pledge now stands at 214, from 130 a year ago. New signatories include France, Spain, Abou Ghaly Motors and Vikram Solar.
It also brings together signatories from national and sub-national governments, vehicle manufacturers, NGOs, businesses, fleet owners and others.
"The ZEV declaration signed at COP26 was a major milestone bringing together leading actors to accelerate the transition to 100% new car sales being zero emission by 2040, and 2035 in leading markets," COP26 President Alok Sharma said in a statement. "There are still huge opportunities in emerging markets and developing economies... This coalition provides the platform for countries to go further and faster and to ensure that no country is left behind."
The A2Z Coalition said its partners are also working on the acceleration of zero-emission medium and heavy duty vehicles, it said.
As part of the new initiative, a global commitment was signed by the US, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden and the UK outlining collective ambition to mobilize more assistance and align existing funds to support ZEV transitions in emerging market and developing economies.
In June, environment ministers from the EU's 27 member states approved proposals to end the sale of vehicles with combustion engines in the trade bloc by 2035. The plan means new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles may no longer emit tailpipe emissions, a requirement seen as a de facto ban on internal combustion engines.
The market share of gasoline and diesel cars in Europe slipped below 51% of sales for the first time during the fourth quarter of 2021, as the growing appeal of hybrid and fully electric vehicles continues to displace conventional road fuel demand.
Analysts at S&P Global Commodity Insights have forecast that electric car sales in Western Europe alone will make up 65% of the global total by 2035, when EV cars on the road in the region will displace around 750,000 b/d of the region's gasoline and diesel demand.
Gasoline and middle distillate demand in Western Europe has already recovered to pre-pandemic levels of 1.8 million b/d and 5.6 million b/d, respectively, S&P Global estimates.