As the COP26 conference begins to wind down, many countries began pushing a new pledge for all cars sold to produce zero emissions by 2040. Or in other words, for all vehicles and cars to be electric by then.
This is very important for the world to achieve its climate goals because transportation is a major source of emissions in every country. Forcing manufacturers to produce electric cars exclusively will help out considerably.
However, some of the top car manufacturers refused to sign the pledge including Toyota and Volkswagen.
The Pledge Was Non-Binding
To make matters worse for manufacturers and countries that refused to sign, it was a non-binding pledge. This means it wasn’t enforceable, so why not sign it?
The first and most obvious reason was not to commit to an empty promise. This is somewhat commendable as many pledge signers do not actually follow through. In many cases, they actually go in the opposite direction.
As a result, by choosing to not sign it, the company or country won’t face backlash if they fail. After all, they never agreed to it.
The issue with this line of thinking is that the act of not signing it in the first place will get backlash. Especially as the automotive industry as a whole is transitioning towards electric vehicles.
In the case of Toyota, they actually commented that the pledge isn’t feasible in all regions. An example they provided was regions like Africa which were unlikely to have the infrastructure to support electrifying automobiles.
In other words, it didn’t make much sense with the given information available.
Others Were Happy to Sign
While some of the biggest manufacturers and countries were not willing to sign, others were.
One of the most notable signatures came from Ford. In fact, they used it as an opportunity to brag that 40% of their car output will be electric by 2030. It helps the manufacturer get some positive publicity, while also committing to helping the environment.
Another huge signature came from Uber. While they don’t make cars, they certainly utilize them. With more than 3.9 million Uber drivers in 2021, they represent a huge pool in the transportation sector.
However, the most impressive was the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, Daimler.
Not only did they sign the agreement, but they added their own note that their current ambitions exceed what was covered in the pledge. Or in other words, they are planning to do it well before 2040.
Electric Vehicles Have A Great Outlook
When it comes to a positive outlook, electric vehicles have it. In the latest Bloomberg EVO Report 2021, by 2030, 34% of passenger cars will be electric. And by 2040, 70% of passenger cars will be electric.
This might not sound huge, but it is. In 2020, electric passenger cars make up 4% of the market share. That’s 30% in 10 years!
Thus, regardless if these countries and manufacturers sign the pledge, the world is still headed towards a future of electric cars. The biggest factor will be on the incentives countries provide, infrastructure (charging station expansion), and the price of the vehicles.
The problem is that it’s too slow without bigger commitments.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.