10 Dec 20

EU wants to have 30 million EVs on the road by 2030

The European Commission aims to have 30 million electric cars on the road by 2030, an ambitious target considering there are only 1.4 million battery-electric cars on the road today. As part of the same environmental targets, published this Wednesday, the EU also wants to double high-speed rail traffic.

“Our ambitions are realistic,” said EU Climate Comissioner Frans Timmermans at a press conference. “The political context has changed: there’s clearly an awareness in politics, industry and in the transport sector.”

According to the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, transport emissions need to go down by 90% by 2050 for Europe to hit its environmental goals. At this moment, however, emissions are still growing.

30 million

In order to achieve these goals, the EU plans to introduce tougher emission standards for cars and light commercial vehicles in the summer of 2021, and for lorries the following year. This also includes at least 30 million zero-emission cars on the road by 2030 and efficiency-boosting automated vehicle technology deployed in large numbers.

The Commission also confirmed its target of installing 3 million EV chargers by the end of the decade.

Transport & Environment called the plan “a major step towards the complete electrification of cars, vans and trucks” but critised the EU for not setting a date when all new cars need to be electric.

Air & rail

The Commission’s environmental ambitions also touch upon other industries, calling for large zero-emission aircraft to be in service by 2035. Another target is that journeys under 500km should be carbon-neutral, for which high-speed rail could be a valid alternative to flying. By 2050, 95% of passenger services and 90% of freight trains should be electrified and the amount of cargo sent by rail should be doubled. High-speed rail should double by 2030 and triple by 2050.

Image: European Commission building, Brussels (copyright: Shutterstock)

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck