The range of lockdown measures experienced in Europe, during the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how much cleaner the air can become when fewer internal combustion engine vehicles are on the road.

A study conducted by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air showed that, due to strict lockdown measures, there were 11,000 fewer deaths, related to air pollution, in Europe, supporting the case for a cleaner, sustainable transport system. The demand for electric vehicles (EVs) during the post COVID-19 green economic recovery is forecasted to grow and capture at least half the market share from internal combustion engines (ICE) vehicles by 2040.

The underlying reason is the adoption and ratification of the Paris Agreement by 197 countries. This agreement forms part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The countries that have adopted and ratified the Paris Agreement have submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which communicate the actions that they will take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their respective countries.

The lithium battery of an electric vehicle is its defining component, because through its recharging mechanism, the battery is able to store energy that allows the car to be driven. Electric vehicles are vital for reducing GHG emissions as they eliminate the need for fossil fuels such as petrol or diesel in the transport sector, which contributes 16.2% of global GHG emissions.

The report by SADC can be accessed by clicking here