Electric cars, vans, trucks and buses will play a key role in reducing some of the negative impacts of road transport on
human health, the environment and climate. Faced with a growing transport demand, electric vehicles alone cannot
be enough to achieve a sustainable road transport in Europe. They need to be seen within the wider mobility system, with a focus on mobility need and alternative modes of transport. Across its life cycle, a typical electric car
in Europe produces fewer greenhouse gases (GHG) and air pollutants or noise, compared with its petrol or diesel
equivalent. Emissions are usually higher in the production phase, but these are more than offset by lower emissions in the use phase over time. According to EEA report on electric vehicles, GHG emissions of electric vehicles were about 17-30% lower than the emissions of petrol and diesel cars. The production of electric cars is also expected to become more
efficient, and the production of electricity cleaner, every year the life-cycle emissions of a typical electric vehicle
could be cut by at least 73% by 2050.
The number of electric vehicles is growing in Europe, every year. For example,
electric car registrations for 2021 made up 17.8% in the share of total new car registrations. For a sustainable mobility
system, electric vehicles alone will not be enough. Moreover, production of electric vehicles will still require substantial
resources and generate pollution. Electric vehicles will also not solve the proble of growing transport demand, time spent
in traffic or finding a parking spot. The real question is how to meet society’s need for point-to-point mobility and for
social interaction and access to goods and services. From extensive public transport, car-sharing schemes, shared
self-driving cars and a shift to alternative modes of transport (such as rail, walking and cycling) to improved spatial planning and new approaches that can reduce the need for mobility, such as working from home.