Clean future: Electric vehicles show good growth outlook

Electric cars can be embraced to reduce carbon footprint, which experts say is currently high

By Antony Mutunga

Why is it that electric cars have been around since the 1800s but it was until recently that their popularity begun to be visible? How come the vehicles are important now? What is the joy all about?

There have been reports that the life-cycle emissions of purely electric cars are up to 69% lower than those of modern combustion engines. The merits of electric cars are believed to be more compared to those of petrol, or diesel automobiles.

In particular, a new petrol car in Europe today emits an average of around 250g (molecular mass) of carbon dioxide per kilometre (CO₂/km) from the manufacturing stage to maintenance, fuel consumption and fuel production.

Electric cars, on the other hand, produce around 90g CO₂/km, an indication that the first step in reducing carbon footprint is capitalising on electric vehicles. In 2010, only about 17,000 electric cars were on the world’s roads, a number that had swelled to 7.2 million by 2019.

Global EV Outlook 2020 notes that sales of electric cars topped 2.1mn globally representing a 6% growth compared to 2018. Market share also indicates a stable future – a glance at the share price development of listed automobile groups around the world shows that electric vehicles are increasingly fashionable.

“While considerable reservations about electric cars in Germany remain, the number of new vehicles on the road is rising quickly and steadily. More than 190,000 electric cars were purchased in Germany in 2020 alone. By comparison, the figure in 2018 was a mere 36,000,” the report says.

In Germany, the report points out, a total of 16,798 new electric cars were registered in July 2020, representing 182% rise as compared to the same month in 2019. This was despite the fact that the automotive market was generally in decline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For all types of cars, however, 5.4% fewer vehicles were newly registered.

Over the last six months, e-pioneer Tesla’s market value has gone up by 72.5%, while German companies still riding on petrol, or diesel such as BMW and Volkswagen have lost value in the same period according to a German firm, Kryptoszene.de.

Actually, BMW, Volkswagen and Toyota brands have lost 13.3%, 19% and 14.2% of value respectively. This means that the new opportunity presented by electric cars will matter and sooner than later, more and more players will join the ring. Kryptoszene also notes that popularity of electric cars will continue increasing as they are more environmentally friendly than the usual cars.

As many players continue to make substantial progress, and eventually betting on electric cars, it will take time to see real growth especially. The entry of Nopea Ride, a taxi hailing company whose cars are purely electric, also, probably sends a strong signal that the Kenyan market is ready to get a piece of the pie.

The biggest challenge that players will face, though, is how to ensure that there are enough charging stations. Tagesschau.de online portal says the limited, or the lack of charging stations, will keep many people from opting for an electric car.

Interestingly, manufacturers continue to improve and make them appealing – a new electric car generally has an average range of 400 km while front-runners like the Tesla Model S can cover over 600 km before they are plugged in.

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