Car manufacturers failing to meet climate goals

1 min read

Research conducted by the campaign group InfluenceMap suggests that many of the world’s largest carmakers are lagging on the switch to electric vehicles.

In fact, only two, Tesla and Mercedes, are on course to hit the international target of limiting global heating to 1.5C by shifting to zero-emissions vehicles at a rate in line with climate goals.

While manufacturers are developing new cars with zero exhaust emissions of carbon and are moving to battery electric technology, most are still selling highly profitable diesel and petrol cars.

Those with the slowest adoption of zero-emissions technology are Toyota, Honda and Nissan – while other laggards include Hyundai and General Motors in the US.

The move to zero-emissions vehicles is seen as crucial for the world’s transition away from polluting fossil fuels and the International Energy Agency has calculated that 57.5% of global car sales must be zero-emission vehicles by 2030 if global heating is to be limited to only 1.5C.

Tesla produces 100% zero-emission vehicles, while Germany’s Mercedes-Benz is on track to produce 56% battery cars by 2029. Toyota and Honda, by contrast, are expected to deliver just 14% and 18% zero-emissions cars by 2029.

Regulatory changes in several markets and rapidly falling cost of producing zero-emissions vehicles are expected to help shift manufacturers away from petrol and diesel, but while automotive manufacturers say they are committed to moving to non-fossil fuel forms of transportation, these figures suggest that many are failing to deliver on those declared ambitions.