What a great year for the future of transport! EVs rebounded strongly after dismal 2020 and crossed 10% of new vehicle sales globally for the first time ever. Leading the pack was Norway, where 90% of new cars sold are now electric and it could reach 100% by April 2022 — three years ahead of schedule. The Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra announced very forward-looking EV policies, and the country is developing super low cost EV chargers and installing EV chargers at every highway toll plaza. The biggest moment for the market, however, was that Tesla is now officially registered in India.
Elsewhere, the new German government will phase out new ICE sales by 2035 and even the country’s oil lobby is on board with it. The famous German sportscars do get an exemption, though. The US will spend $7.5billion by 2030 to install 500,000 EV chargers from coast-to-coast, with even its top utilities joining forces on the expansion. Carmakers reached deeper into their coffers and Ford, GM, Toyota and Nissan will together spend $105 billion in switching to EV manufacturing. And Tesla’s valuation soared to beyond $1 trillion for the first time as car rental firm Hertz’s order of 100,000 Model 3s stamped a strong approval on the economics of the electric powertrain.
Of course, there were a few hiccups. Victoria followed South Australia to impose a per-mile EV tax that, not surprisingly, upset EV buyers and would raise their yearly cost of ownership. But much worse was the New York Times uncovering that, apparently threatened by Tesla, Toyota had financed a FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) campaign to sabotage EV sales and somehow shore up hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Nevertheless, stellar progress was made with the EV technology itself as Rolls Royce tested the world’s fastest, all-electric aircraft that tops out at 623 kmph. United Airlines ordered 100 electric passenger aircraft from Sweden’s Heart Aviation in what is bound to be a milestone for commercial air travel. And Daikin announced a new refrigerant that might just unlock 50% more range for EVs. There’s a lot to look forward to next year!