One Finite Planet

One Finite Planet

Any transition from gas to EVs needs around 30 years.

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What is needed to profitably make vehicles, and why only Tesla and BYD are there yet with EVs in 2023?

Why is it so hard to make money from making EVs at a competitive price?

This is an exploration of the profitability challenges, and the answers to “Do only Tesla & BYD profit from EVs?” and “Why make vehicles at a loss?“.

Auto makers must either 1) find a way to make EVs at profit, 2) close down, or 3) hope there will still be a large enough market for ICEVs for them to survive. Highly funded research indicates that in future just 5 brands will dominate 80% of the market, and the reality is only one of the top ten automotive from 2021 is a likely contender.

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A deeper look how EVs impact the power grid.

What is the real answer to how the grid will cope? First the answer from an actual power company, a link to one from a popular vlogger, both of which should placate most people, although neither is water tight as both skip over some details critical to the full answer.

And then, the deeper questions on what the impact will be on power bills and reliability, and to the transitioning of the grid to renewables.

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EVs are green but there is no quick fix green transition.

There are many claims that EVs result in more emissions than fossil fuelled vehicles. The reality is that even when an EV is powered from a ‘dirty’ grid, it is clear that driving an EV does creates less emissions. Plus, although some EVs create more ‘build emissions’, EVs still have less lifetime emissions, even on today’s grids. The EV transition will reduce emissions provided it is not rushed.

But the transition still won’t produce the desired emissions until the grid is also clean, and it will take decades to replace traditional vehicles on any sensible schedule.

Buying an EV is better for the environment in the long term than buying an ICE vehicle but can be worse for the environment than just keeping the current vehicle. The key finding is that while it is best to stop buying so many new ICE vehicles ASAP, there should be no rush to replace existing ICE vehicles with EVs, and instead allow existing vehicles the around two decades until their normal scrap date.

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Tracking Legacy Car Brands Fall as EVs Rise.

We are in a time of disruption by electrification as planes, trains and automobiles, as well as shipping, all move to zero emission power. But it is the EV disruption of car industry that will have the biggest impact on consumers, and EVs have become “real” and desirable much sooner than many brands expected or wanted.

New players such as Tesla, BYD and others will become the new leaders, and together with the globalisation of the EV centric Chinese car industry, combined, will take at least 50% of the market. So, what happens to the existing big brands of the legacy car industry sharing the remaining 50%? Either half die out, all halve in size, or some combination of both!

The EV disruption will catch out many legacy car makers, with the shift skipping the anticipated interim step to hydrogen vehicles. There is a separate webpaper exploring why it is so difficult for legacy automakers to make a profit from EVs, and this page will track major ‘legacy’ brands through the transition to see which, if any, survive, as the new brands increase their market share.

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Toyota: Failure inevitable?

Once the darling of Hollywood in the wake of “green” image built by the Prius hybrid, Toyota has more recently prompted shareholder complaints, and calls for boycotts by climate groups in response to Toyota anti-climate action and anti-EV lobbying that has seen the company reach the status of no 3 climate enemy company in the world, behind only Exxon-Mobil and Chevron.

Either Toyota is ideologically against action on climate change, or senior management see no way for Toyota to survive the EV transition.

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In this polarised world, there seem to be two groups: those who want all vehicles to be EVs now, and those who feel EVs will never be a good idea.

Truth is, it would create a legal minefield and cost consumers and the environment heavily to ban too quickly, but bans will come.

This is an exploration of reality of a transition to EVs, which concludes any optimum transition takes around 30 years.

This conclusion means anyone wanting to reach EVs by 2050 needs to start very soon, and anyone worried all EVs should never happen, can take comfort that any environmentally sound transition will take a long time, although for economic reasons, does need to at least start soon.

Any transition from gas to EVs needs around 30 years.

In this polarised world, there seem to be two groups: those who want all vehicles to be EVs now, and those who feel EVs will never be a good idea.

Truth is, it would create a legal minefield and cost consumers and the environment heavily to ban too quickly, but bans will come.

This is an exploration of reality of a transition to EVs, which concludes any optimum transition takes around 30 years.

This conclusion means anyone wanting to reach EVs by 2050 needs to start very soon, and anyone worried all EVs should never happen, can take comfort that any environmentally sound transition will take a long time, although for economic reasons, does need to at least start soon.

Why around 30 years, and why much faster doesn’t add up.

The 30 years comes from two steps:

  • It takes 10 years to end new ICEV (combustion engine vehicle) sales.
  • Approximately 20 more years is needed for the last new combustion vehicles to ‘retire’.

These numbers come from exploring what is needed to achieve an ‘all EV’ future. While a big factor is that EVs are simply not ready to be viable purchase choices for everyone buying a vehicle right now in 2022, this 30 year timeframe does not allow for any delays from a need to wait EVs to become viable choices for everyone. The assumption of ‘no delays’ will be explored, but also consider it is possible to make exemptions for long distance towing, or other applications that might otherwise create delays. It is not that EVs will never be suitable for all applications, it is that EVs will achieve unquestionable for most applications before covering some small niches. Allowing for exclusions can prevent EV deniers calling for a wait until all niches are solved, rather than starting now, on the assumption the niches will be solved.

The 10 and 20 numbers will probably displease both those who say EVs are impractical and should not exist at all, and also those who feel we need to move sooner.

To those who say EVs are impractical, I agree that current EVs have shortcomings, but a realistic transition time frame and plan allows maximum time for those shortcomings to be solved, or would allow exemptions for any case where shortcoming are not solved. Those sceptical about a transition to EVs, should be more concerned about a rushed transition, than about planning starting early.

To those who feel 30 years is too long, I suggest considering that moving much faster, would mean trashing the environment and the planet. There are 1.5 billion cars in the world, and replacing them faster by increasing manufacturing beyond the current 80 million cars per year, would turn a positive outcome for environment into a negative one. Yes, we some countries may may be able to beat the 30 year timeframe , but being too aggressive comes at a cost, and is a best a trade off for the environment.

The best outcome for those wishing for faster timeframes, is to get governments to support starting now, rather than stalling now, and then rushing later.

The steps to explore are:

  • Why 10 years to ban new ICEV sales?
  • Why 20 another years until the end of ICE vehicles?
  • Solving the ‘EVs are not good enough’ problems.
  • The political, economic and environmental risks to delaying starting an EV only plan.
  • Potential benefit and reasons for delaying an EV only plan.
  • Norway has a 2025 ‘no new ICEV’ target, why are others only 2030, 2035 or even 2040?
  • Conclusion: Any developed nation needs a plan in place by 2025 for ‘no new ICE cars’ by 2035.

Why it takes 10 years to ban new ICEV sales.

The typical 7 year vehicle model life.

The first relevant concept, is that most vehicles once introduced to the market, remain on sale for around 7 years.

Consider the Mercedes E class, which one their longest running vehicles. From the Wikipedia page it can be seen that the history has been:

Not always exactly 7 years, but close. From the USA, the long running Chevrolet Corvette had runs of 9, 4, 14, 12, 7, 8, 5 years for the first 7 generations for an average of 8.4 years, while the worlds currently most popular car, the Toyota Corolla from Japan had a model life of mostly 4 years with the occasional 5 years until the year 2000, but has had a model life 6 years from the year 2000 until now.

While some cars remain the same underlying model for much longer, 7 years is the industry normal, with really high volume cars like the Corolla having a shorter 6 year cycle. Small extra features may be added for each model year, and a ‘facelift’ introduced half way through the model life, but the overall vehicle remains the same from the perspective of spare parts and repairs throughout the model life. All of the research and development (R&D) and design work is amortised over the entire model life. For a vehicle selling in large enough numbers, the R&D cost per unit can be small enough for a shorter amortisation time, but volume becomes critical.

All new vehicles purchased in New York will need to be zero-emission models beginning in 2035, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced on Thursday.

“We’re really putting our foot down on the accelerator and revving up our efforts to make sure we have this transition — not someday in the future, but on a specific date, a specific year — by the year 2035,” Hochul said at a press conference in White Plains, N.Y.

After careening into the Chester-Maple Parking Lot in a white Chevy Bolt, Hochul announced a series of new electric vehicle (EV) initiatives for the state, beginning with the zero-emission requirement for 2035. To reach this target, she said that 35 percent of new cars will need to be zero-emission by 2026 and 68 percent by 2030.

New York to mandate zero-emission vehicles in 2035

Note the 2026 target within a plan to ban new ICEV by 2035.

Reasons to allow each vehicle model its full 7 (or more) years life.

When a manufacturer has their car approved for sale in a given country, that approval will normally continue for the time that model will be sold. In most countries, going back to manufactures and say:

“You know that car we granted to model approval for last year, well we have new rules and you can’t sell it anymore”. In most countries, that would give the manufacturer grounds for a damages claim, because the rules do not require every car to b e re-approved each year, as the paperwork would just make cars more expensive for consumers.

This means a country needs to either stop approving new ICE vehicles for sale years before a ban, or stating issuing approvals with a set end date. In practice, the effect would in most cases be the same, as few manufacturers will bother having cars approved for sale if their time on the market is significantly reduced. The result of a short time on the market would be a higher cost per vehicle, making them less popular anyway.

This means a country cannot easily ban ICE vehicle just 3 years after it decides to ban them. That country would have already have many vehicles recently approved for sale, on that basis that sellers had been given approval to sell beyond the next 3 years. The government could just change the rules, but changing long standing rules would cause companies to either sue the government, or distrust government rules in future. The car companies would no longer be bound by agreements to support customers with spare parts at previously anticipated pricing, as with less years on sale, there would suddenly be a smaller number of vehicles to across with to spread support costs. In today’s market of long warranties, brands without EVs in the ‘pipeline’ could just close, and with the agreement to be able to sell cars broken, need not provide ongoing customer support.

There are consequences for changing rules without sufficient notice, and those consequences would be felt by voters. That does not mean if the community feels sufficiently strongly about climate they would not agree with the decision, particularly if consumer who bought ICE vehicles were compensated, and if there is so much support, perhaps already almost no one was buying ICE vehicles anymore? But then, if no one is buying the vehicles, what would be the need to change the rules?

10 years: 3 years notice then 7 for existing products to progressively retire?

Firstly, consider that 7 years is just typical. Cars can, like the Volvo XC-90 version from 2002-2014, be on the market much longer. Secondly, cars a planned before they are released.

For background, consider Germany. Germany has already backed a plan for an end to new fossil fuelled light vehicles by 2035, but there has been discussion of some form of ban by 2030. Imagine if now, in 2022, Germany moved the date forward to 2030. The W-214 E-Class, scheduled for release in 2023 still be released in 2023 and then have 7 years on the market, which is just as well because the vehicle has already been seen testing back in January of 2022, having been in development for some years already. The next Mercedes A-Class however, would be due to arrive in 2025 and be on sale until 2032, and would already be in development now, had Mercedes not already decided the risk is too great, and thus Mercedes has reportedly already decided to end the A-Class in 2025. Similarly BMW has already axed the X4 which would also be due to release in 2025.

Prior to the model run of typically 7 years, manufacturers spend typically 3 years designing and developing each model. There is typically no point spending those first 3 years of development, if the vehicle cannot be sold in the market for another 10 years. This resulting in a 10 year span between the decision to produce a new model and the end of that model.

Most manufacturers, if not given 10 years warning of an end to new ICE vehicles, would be caught mid product cycle with a vehicle in production that can no longer be sold.

Not all countries need the full 10 years.

The story of EVs in Norway is further examined below, but Norway introduced their rule of ban in on new ICEV sales from 2025 back in 2016, and although manufactures knew the policy had been under discussion, Norway only gave 9 years notice, not 10 years.

I reality, Norway could have probably been fine with 8 years. No manufacturer is designing or producing models of vehicles is dependant on sales in Norway. If a rule changes means that a model under development should no longer get certified and sold into the market of 5 million Norwegians, most brands will hardly notice. Even ending sales of a model in Norway earlier than expected, can have little impact if sales continue in neighbouring Sweden keeping support costs manageable. Of course Sweden, by moving after Norway, gets a worse deal.

Reduction in new ICE models available in the lead up to a ban.

Imagine for the moment a country where all vehicles have that nominal 7 year model life. It is logical that 7 years prior to a ban on ICE vehicles, new ICE only vehicles would stop being certified to be sold in that country.

The choices of currently up to date ICE vehicle models available would fall by 1/7th every year, reducing the choice available to new car buyers looking to get one of the last ICE vehicles available. If there were 42 ICE models available at the start of the year 7 years before the ban, available ICE models decrease by 6 vehicles every year. While in an ideal world, the last available ICE vehicles would be vehicle types that were the last offer competitive EV choices, in the real world, vehicles will disappear from the market as the model that has been certified goes out of production, having been replaced by newer version, that viable to be imported into a country where the ban is getting loser each year. In practice, if there are types of vehicles without viable EV options as a ban approaches, these types of vehicles may be granted exemptions to the upcoming ban.

why 20 another years until the end of ICE vehicles?

Many online articles make statements like “the average car is 10 years old, so it will take 10 years before the old cars are gone”. The problem with such statements, is that average age is the mid point of life of a vehicle.

There is a thorough analysis of how long vehicles really last available here, but the answer is typically 20 years.

Currently, each EV sold, results in on average more emissions building the EV than from building an internal combustion vehicle. Those emissions are offset over time by lower emissions from driving the EV, but the biggest takeaway, is that emissions from building vehicles is so significant compared to emissions from driving vehicles. Producing more vehicles in total, just to take older vehicles off the road earlier, results in more total emissions, not less.

In the final year before a full ban on internal combustion vehicles comes into effect, very few models that are not full EVs would be available. At most, 1/7th of available choices based on a 7 year cycle. The 20 year lifespan, means typically only 5% of vehicles are those new purchased in any giver year. This means 20 years after the ban, cars sold in the last year before the ban would represent only 0.7% of vehicles if they were all still being driven. Since statistically only half of them would still be being driven, even the total from those last few years would a small percentage of vehicles, unlikely to exceed much more than 1%.

This opens another question: What happens when the number of remaining internal combustion vehicles drops to a very low level? Do people get bought out once gasoline/petrol stations close? This seems a complex question, but for the purpose of this heading, there relevant point is that there is a threshold for ICE vehicles to remain workable as regular vehicles which could shorten the 20 year timeframe.

However the distribution of vehicle age is going to be nothing like all vehicles last 20 years, some last much longer. Just as horses remained in use after they eased being transport internal combustion engine vehicles will remain for a lone time. Porsche is even investing heavily in synthetic fuels to allow zero overall emission operation of of ICEVs, but using such fuels for commuter vehicles would only be viable for the very rich. ICEVs will evolve, but not dies. The 20 year timeframe is a best estimate for when they become irrelevant to emissions, but there are many variables in predicting the future.

solving the ‘EVs are not good enough’ problems.

Are PHEVs are EVs?

Many countries, Norway included, allow PHEVs to count as EVs, and there are long range PHEVs that overcome one the main limitation of EVs: an extended range and the ability to tow long distances.

Exemptions, particularly for PHEVs, can be one way to ensure ‘holes’ in offerings are filled by alternatives, and if filled by PHEVs, still can ensure vehicles are used on electric power only when practical.

Some countries have rules to eliminated ‘token PHEVs’ but allow others, and one test of ‘real PHEVs’ as opposed to ‘token PHEVs‘ could be requiring vehicles having a minimum range.

The ‘EVs are too expensive’: but will they still be at the ‘EV only’ start date?

Sufficient vehicle types?

Australia is a good test market. Extremely low EV penetration, no national car makers, and typically not a early market for most brands.

In Australia, three key segments where EVs have either no products, or no price competitive products, are:

  1. lower priced cars
  2. 4wds
  3. Utes (pick ups).

It is not that no manufacturer worldwide makes vehicles that fill these needs, it is a combination of these vehicles being new models, and/or not currently offered in Australia.

Low price EVs, where PHEVs are not an option?

For low price vehicles, PHEVs are not a solution, as while low priced EVs do exist, low priced PHEVs do not. Increasingly, while some PHEVs can provide range beyond pure battery EVs and freedom from needing to find chargers, this comes at an increased price, and does not solve the cost problem.

While countries like Norway have used incentives to make EVs under a certain price point more affordable, there is still a lack of EVs that can compete on price with basic ICEVs. Any country planning a ban on ICEVs, needs a plan to solve this problem prior to banning ICEVs.

While there is a lot of confusion over how much EVs really cost, and plenty of articles suggesting “EVs will reach price parity by 2024” or by 2025, the situation is a little more complex.

The problem now in 2022, is less that EVs in general are not price competitive, but that while in some segments there are very price completive EVs, there are other segments with either no price competitive vehicles, or no vehicles at all.

The days of the $15,000 drive-away new car are behind us, but it’s still possible to get into a new automatic car for under $20,000 drive-away – albeit with compromises in safety or size – and a fuel-sipping hybrid for around $30,000.

Cheapest new cars in Australia

Currently the lowest priced new car in Australia is the Kia Picanto. The BYD Seagull clearly has the potential to reach a similar price point. Even priced slightly above Kia, the lower fuel costs and lower service costs should make the EV a lower total ownership cost. Of course, the Seagull is not in Australia, or yet listed on a roadmap to arrive. An ‘EV Only ‘ plan should ensure either Seagull, or some of its rivals, are planned for Australia.


Off road capable, price competitive 4wds are also absent. Plus in this category, range can be a major requirement, with many options for long range fuel tanks available for this category and popular. Australia would need a plan, or an exemption for this category.

Utes (pick ups).

The ‘Ute’ or Pick-up is another category with no current vehicles, but in this case the rising popularity of the segment does mean there are many EV ‘utes’ on the radar. The question for Australia is when will vehicles with required range arrive.

The “can’t charge at home” problem.

The main reasons for this problem are:

  1. apartment parking
  2. insufficient of “off street” parking.

Norway is working on problem number 1, and many have workable solutions, but in country where parking outside overnight can already be a problem such as Norway, problem number 2 is rare.

In Australia, the current approaches for apartment parking seem to mostly assume only something like at most 1 in 5 people will ever own an EV, and insufficient off street parking is an even bigger problem.

The vehicles may be ready, but in Australia and some other countries, there is more focus on commercial access to fast charging that will result in new revenue for new businesses, than in providing cost effective at home charging for consumers. Without better planning, the result could easily be another another way to gain tax revenue and help business at the expense of low income earners.

The risks arising from delaying the start of an EV only plan.

To what extent is delaying just politics of denial?

At COP26, car makers were expecting to be pushed to a switch to zero emission vehicles, and have been studying and making plans for years. At COP26, carmakers signed a pledge:

Together, we will work towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission[footnote 2] globally by 2040, and by no later than 2035 in leading markets.

COP26 declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans.

If car makers are serious about this pledge, then it won’t really matter what countries decide in terms of the vehicles, car makers will not launch vehicles that depend on ‘leading markets’ in the 7 years leading up to 2035. Even ICE vehicles not requiring ‘leading markets’ will not be launched if needing sales past 2040.

This means that unless a country is going to produce its own ICE vehicles using local carmakers no committed to the COP26 pledge, it makes zero sense to have have a 2040 plan. It means there will be no cars anyway, the only benefit is the country will not plan to have infrastructure to cope. The only real choices are to go 2035 on the basis the country is ‘developed’, or is ‘developing’, can survive on cars not designed for ‘leading’ markets, may not need to meet net zero by 2050.

Political Risk: The Net Zero by 2050 problem.

International Energy Guidelines: It is necessary to end new ICEV sales by 2035.

Report by IEA states net zero by 2050 requires no new ICE cars sales by 2035.

Every year there is a climate conference, with pressure on countries not seen as ‘doing their share’.

There are nearly 60 countries that plan to ban the sale of internal-combustion–engine vehicles (ICEVs).

Many Countries Eye 2035 for Serious EV Conversion

The schedule, to meet net zero by 2050, as recommended in the report by the International Energy Authority, it to ban ICE cars by 2035, and a well managed transition to banning ICE vehicles requires 10 years. All of the 60 countries who have announced a plan to ban ICE vehicles, have made that first step, announcing intent, in time to ban ICE vehicles by 2035. The deadline to announce an ‘end of ICE cars’ plan, in time to enact the ban by 2035, is 2025. Some countries have already announced deadlines of 2040, but and where those are ‘developed’, rather than ‘developing’ nations, they will most likely need to fall in line with a 2035 target by 2040, but at least the the process has begun.

Even China already has a 2035 target, and there are already discussion about bringing this forward to 2030. Problem countries are the USA, Australia, with Japan, although having a target of 2035, also considered somewhat problematic as under pressure from Toyota, they are now planning to recognise hybrids as EVs.

COP27 (Egypt November 2022), COP28 (UAE Nov 2023) and COP29 (Perhaps Sydney) will all increase the pressure on countries to commit to a 2035 target ban, which in practice means starting the process in 2025, with the ban taking effect in 2035.

extreme weather as in 2022, is resulting in increasing public climate concern.

While there can never be absolute proof that CO2 emissions are the cause, 2022 is certainly presenting a compelling case that something happening to the environment:

  • Unprecedented or record rainfall and floods:
    • Australia, Pakistan.
  • Unprecedented or record heat waves:
    • USA, Europe, China.

Yes, there is a polarisation between two groups:

  1. Those who believe climate change is a real threat, and more action on climate change is required.
  2. The who believe climate change is a hoax and/or climate action is too expensive and should not increased.

The mix varies between countries, and in some cases is aligned to political beliefs, but the trend is for an increased percentage of the electorates calling for action. Every new extreme weather event seems to create some converts, and not having a plan is effectively gambling on the weather and an end to extreme weather events.

the economic risks from delaying.

Delaying having a plan only really adds up if both start and finish can be delayed. As long as the finish can also be delayed, delaying the start could enable learning from those who have been earlier, and reduces any risk that the whole EV thing will turn out to be a mistake.

In reality, no matter what date will is chose for ‘no ice cars’ date, the sooner a plan starts, the better. Dates can even be moved forward of back. The only risk that arises from deciding to have a plan is that everyone else is wrong to be moving to EVs at all.

Delaying the start creates the risk that:

  1. a transition starts to happen anyway without any plan.
  2. it becomes imperative to meet an end date similar to that of other countries who already have a plan.

For number 1, it can be argued that this is simply following a free market, which as far as vehicles is concerned, may be correct, but as far as infrastructure which is already both regulated and partially provided by government is concerned, operating without any plan would be incompetence.

Realistically, any country that does not produce the majority of vehicles sold within its borders, is going to experience a transition of the vehicles entering the country. Only a pro-active country can take best advantage of the transition while a reactive response is most likely to experience disadvantage.

Point 2, needed to adopt a plan with a ‘no ice cars’ date within 10 years of the plan being adopted, runs the risk of legal challengers from vehicle producers, and even class action from consumers who purchase vehicles with resale and service costs negatively impacted by retrospective limits on the time vehicles are on the market.

environmental risks

Realistically, at least for countries with under 100 million 50 million population, a late transition to EVs will have very little impact on the global level of emissions. Just as one vote rarely makes the difference on who is elected, one country is unlikely to change the tipping point on global emissions. Of course, if every one decides their vote does not matter, democracy breaks down, and if every country with less than 50 million did not act, that would represent over 25% of the worlds population, and more than equivalent to giving a leave pass to all 4 of China, the USA, Japan and Russia.

So while one country may not have a global impact, the pressure for all similar countries to act is likely to be significant. It is not individual contribution to global emissions that matters, as much as the pressure to act collectively.

Global CO2 levels are not the only environmental impacts of ICE vehicles:

It is not difficult to find creditable resources attributing a significant number of deaths to internal combustion vehicle exhausts. While vehicles are already getting better, there is no better solution that matches switching to EVs.

Benefits of delaying an ‘EV only’ plan.

Political donations and lobbyists.

Politicians need to be elected to have power, and to get elected takes money. Consider who just benefits from EVs, compared to those who benefit from fossil fuels and delaying EVs.

  • Financial interest in EVs:
    • Tesla, BYD
      • Reported to be the only companies so far making a profit from EVs
    • EV start-ups (Rivian, Lucid etc)
      • Still battling to succeed
    • Electricity companies
      • Neither international like oil companies, nor with the same revenue per km/mile driven as oil companies.
    • EV Charger companies.
      • Not even as large as oil rig suppliers.
  • Financial interest in delaying EVs:
    • Oil companies
    • Oil rich countries
    • Toyota and all other existing automobile makers.

It is quite clear that the source of political donations, and lobbyist activity, is going to be from oil companies and Toyota etc.. There are groups, such as ‘Influencemap‘ who report just how much is spent on lobbying and donations to support delays to action on climate, and clearly there are billions available in return for delaying a move to EVs.

For many countries, it is easier to remain in office if exercising some restraint on moving to EV only policies.

Notably the EU, and China, both have structures that despite having their own, in some regards very significant, limitations, there may be less scope for influence.

The ‘influence’ money doesn’t all go on lobbying and political donations. A large amount going into influencing ‘influencers’ and public opinion though social media and other media. Given people have even been known to passionately believe the Earth is flat, of course there are people who have been passionately convinced EVs are a scam.

If there was a conspiracy, you would expect it would be run the rich groups who benefit from delaying EVs, but still people are convinced somehow a conspiracy for EVs is funded to level beyond what Exxon etc can match.

There is huge funding to support a wait for hydrogen vehicles to take over, and there are continuing claims that EVs result in more emission as power companies still use fossil fuels to produce electricity. Note that all plans do allow for ‘green hydrogen’ vehicles anyway, should they ever become viable.

This is despite it having been shown they hydrogen cars are not only more expensive to build, but also at least 3x more expensive to operate, as well as simply not as much fun to drive. Plus, that while EVs do result in emissions as yes electricity is not all ‘clean electricity’, they do still result in less emissions than fossil fuel vehicles even when operated on ‘dirty’ electricity, and power is getting greener. This is in contrast to hydrogen vehicles, which, as they either require over 3x more electricity, do result in more emissions.

There is a lot of money behind the opposition to EV targets, making the arguments hard to get across.

Countries and their targets and bans: tracking progress.

(this section will be progressively updated with progress and notable steps on ‘no ice vehicle policies).

Overview: ICEV bans.

Wikipedia has a page listing bans of fossil fueled vehicles which is a useful resource.

This section focuses on what is behind the bans.

It seems very unlikely that fossil fuelled vehicles (ICEVs) will ever be really completely ‘banned’ and a small number will be permitted long term, but as fuel stations close, ICEVs will become practical only for avid enthusiasts, and no longer viable as normal transport. If too many people did still want ICEVs, taxes and fees would keep numbers acceptable, but this is not likely to be necessary. EVs will are an improvement and will take over from ICEVs just as ICEVs took over from horses without horses needing to be banned.

Bans play a role in accelerating getting to the point where EVs dominate vehicle sales. By the time the date of the actual ban approaches, if the people still want ICEVs, then they would elect government who will allow them. On the other hand, by creating a timetable and blocking more “car wars”, the main role of bans is in shaping the market years prior to the dare of any actual ban. EVs will because they are desired by consumers, not because of bans, but bans can accelerate EVs fulfilling their potential to be the best cars.

Announced bans do force everyone to picture what is necessary to prepare for an EV future, and an easier to sell than progressive tax increases that could be more likely to create backlash.

2025: Lessons from Norway.

As already discussed, Norway has the earliest target with their ‘no new ICE cars’ policy taking effect from 2025.

Norway announced a target to be ‘EV only by 2025′ way back in 2016, and by June 2022 had almost 80% of new vehicle sales being pure EVs. Of course, having had the date set for many years, a check car maker websites reveals that brands have, as would be expected, for over 5 years, only released the new models of vehicles that are BEV or PHEV in Norway. A look at what is available reveals the only choices still available without a plug now, are models released several years ago, or those that will gain a PHEV version prior to the cut off..

But it has taken longer than many people would realise for Norway to reach this point.

Although the policy was introduced in 2016 and took the current form in 2017, incredibly, EVs had already reached around 20% of the new cars sales in 2015, as can be seen in the graphs below!

Norway’s lead with EV dates back to 1990 and the Morten Harket from pop group A-HA began a strategy to promote EVs in Norway. The story is recounted in the video from fully charged here.

Norway started producing their own EVs back in 1991.

Buddy is the sixth generation of the Kewetelectric vehicle. Originally, the Kewet was developed in HadsundDenmark, and the first model was made in 1991. Production alternated between Hadsund, Denmark and NordhausenGermany. During the first five generations, over 1000 electric vehicles were produced. They were sold in 18 countries. In 1998, all rights were acquired by ElBil Norge AS (which, at the time, was called Kollega Bil AS). For some years, ElBil Norge further developed the vehicle and in the autumn of 2005, a new model was presented that was first called Kewet Buddy Citi-Jet 6, but is now known simply as the Buddy.[citation needed]

Wikipedia: Buddy (electric car)

Norway: Fleet progress.

As the graphs below show, despite EVs being on sale in Norway since the 1990s and rising from 20% of the market in 2015, to 80% in 2022, still only around 18% of the cars on the road in Norway are EVs as of late 2022.

Clearly, while the left graph shows that new sales are now almost completely EVs, but the journey to completing the fleet of vehicles on the roads to EVs is still in the early stages. Note that as the annual distances travelled by old vehicles tends to be less, the picture is better than the raw numbers.

2030 Countries to be added next update.

Denmark (hybrids 2035), Germany (?), Greece, Iceland, Netherlands, Singapore (Hybrids exempt till 2040?), Slovenia (low emission < 50g/km exempt until 2040), Sweden, UK (hybrids 2035).

Comments to follow.

2035 The EU Ban.

The EU ‘ban’ has a loophole, and potentially a big loophole.

As originally drafted, all new passenger vehicles with greenhouse gas emissions would be banned from sale from 2035.

However, there has been a political push from Germany, backed by BMW and with some support by VW to allow any vehicle to still be approved for sale as long as there are net-zero emissions. At first, this can sound reasonable, but in practice it could derail all progress. The key is in the word “only”:

Likewise, German transport minister Volker Wissing took to Twitter to announce combustion-powered vehicle sales would continue beyond 2035 provided they “only use CO2-neutral fuels”. Specific details of the exemption have yet to be released, though Reuters has previously reportedly vehicles would be required to have technology or fuel additives that would prevent them from driving if other fuels are used.

Combustion engines to live on past 2035 thanks to Germany

The danger is the loophole of allowing in “clean” fuels could be manipulated to allow these combustion engines to be powered by regular gasoline, perhaps with the illegal addition of additives. In practice, by the time the bans would come into effect, ICEVs will be far from price competitive, and the main impact is that it allows brands like BMW a longer time to delay or extend the time frame for writing off their assets related to combustion engines, which becomes stranded assets as soon as combustion engines are officially a “dead-end”.


All developed nations need a plan in place by 2025 for ‘no new ICE cars’ by 2035.

At least, this is needed for any nation to have a creditable ‘net zero by 2050’ target.

There are around 1.6 billion ICE vehicles out there to replace, and doing so in an orderly fashion, and without an environmentally disastrous ramp up in production, requires time, and planning.