A paper by the World Bank and International Association of Public Transport looks at how electric mobility, or “eMobility,” stands to enhance countries’ transport, energy and climate strategies, and aims to help governments design and implement effective eMobility programmes.
The paper emphasizes: the importance of understanding market segments and their sensitivity to governmental incentives; the central role of public transportation; enabling and complementary factors such as charging infrastructure; and policy credibility required to implement solutions.
Country case studies highlight cross-sectoral opportunities from eMobility, which include entrepreneurship, gender equality and a transition away from fossil fuels.
4 December 2018: An engagement paper by the World Bank and International Association of Public Transport (UITP) looks at how electric mobility, or “eMobility,” stands to enhance countries’ transport, energy and climate strategies. The paper aims to help governments design and implement eMobility programmes that are effective at achieving their intended development aims across climate, economic, fiscal, technical, institutional, and policy dimensions.
Addressing these dimensions across developed and developing contexts, the paper titled, ‘Electric Mobility and Development,’ notes that a wide swath of countries have already committed to phase out internal combustion engines and that eMobility demand will only increase. It underscores, however, that although eMobility stands to disrupt jobs, companies, electricity networks, entire industries and even trade relations between countries, eMobility supply chains “have yet to achieve industrial scale on par with conventional technologies.”
eMobility can help electrify economies, open up new markets in the energy sector, and facilitate entrepreneurship and gender equality.
The paper identifies a broader theme of uncertainty in the eMobility space, especially due to its nascent state in many regions of the world. A World Bank press release highlights that although there are over 3 million electric passenger vehicles on the road today, nearly half of them are in China, with the US and Europe drawing much of the remainder. Highlighting knowledge gaps and the issue of scale, the paper emphasizes the importance of understanding:
- market segments and their sensitivity to governmental incentives;
- the central role that public transportation needs to play, as well as the enabling and complementary factors such as charging infrastructure; and
- the policy credibility required to implement targeted solutions.
The global market eMobility, the paper finds, “has been underpinned by government interventions.” Going beyond such interventions is key to broader eMobility uptake, and involves building the institutional, regulatory and market environment that enables public perception and confidence to expand. The paper notes that this can take place through interoperable and readily-accessible charging infrastructure, new business models that offer electric vehicle (EV) sharing (whether cars, bicycles or scooters), and the proactive engagement of different stakeholder groups, whether original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), public transport operators, local authorities or civil society members.
The paper draws attention to eMobility’s sustainability benefits, which, it stresses, are “strongly linked to power system emissions” and the power sector. Indeed, without a parallel effort and push towards renewable energy sources, the environmental benefits that electric vehicles can deliver will not be fully realized. Additional considerations noted are the potential for EV fleets to be utilized as a two-way resource and the significant storage capacity presented by EV batteries.
Highlighting opportunities outside of the transportation sector, the paper notes that eMobility presents a means to help electrify economies, thereby enabling a transition away from reliance on fossil fuels and opening up new markets in the energy sector. Linking across the SDG framework, policies around eMobility can also facilitate entrepreneurship and gender equality, as demonstrated by a case study in Nepal.
Financial and technical support for the report was provided by the World Bank-administered Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). The publication was launched during the UN Climate Change Conference, taking place in Katowice, Poland, from 2-14 December 2018. [Publication: Electric Mobility and Development] [Engagement Paper Landing Page] [World Bank Press Release]