As more countries like China, Europe, and North America move away from traditional gas-powered cars to embrace electric vehicles, a potential issue is brewing. According to a report from the London-based think-tank Carbon Tracker, nations slow to adopt EVs might find themselves stuck with a surplus of older gasoline cars if they don’t pick up the pace in transitioning to cleaner technologies.
The concern is that instead of retiring these older, more polluting models, automakers might end up selling them in regions such as Africa, Asia, and South America. The report points out that countries like India, Australia, Thailand, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, and South Africa currently lack clear targets for reducing car emissions.
This situation could lead to these nations importing outdated gasoline cars, adding a financial burden and hindering efforts to tackle climate change. The report emphasizes that without robust policies to end the sale of gasoline vehicles, the problem could worsen.
To avoid this scenario, the report suggests that governments should implement measures like import bans, age restrictions on used cars, emission limits, and the removal of tariffs on EVs. It also highlights the importance of increasing domestic production and recycling of EVs to reduce overall emissions.
The report also sheds light on the economic benefits for developing markets that swiftly transition to EVs. It suggests that embracing battery-powered vehicles can create opportunities in various sectors, including mineral mining, manufacturing, sales, infrastructure development, and recycling.
As an example, the report mentions that Africa alone spends a significant amount on importing transport fuels each year. By adopting policies that encourage EV adoption, the continent, along with Asia and South America, could potentially save over $100 billion annually on fuel imports and reduce trade deficits. The report concludes that promoting the shift to EVs in developing markets not only helps the environment but also unlocks economic opportunities across multiple industries.