Electric Vehicles

Electric transportation offers ideal opportunities for the broader introduction of renewables to the transport sector. As energy-consuming technologies, electric vehicles (EV) create new demand for electricity that can be supplied by renewables. In addition to the benefits of this shift, such as reducing CO2 emissions and air pollution, electric mobility also creates significant efficiency gains and could emerge as an important source of storage for variable sources of renewable electricity.

IRENA analysis shows that EVs have significant growth potential:

  • There is the potential to increase the number of electric passenger cars from just over 2 million in 2016 to 200 million in 2030.
  • Electric two- and three-wheeled vehicles could outnumber four-wheeled vehicles, with as many as 900 million on the roads by 2030.
  • Electric buses and light-duty vehicles could number well over 10 million by 2030.

Electric vehicles provide opportunities to link the renewable power and low-carbon transport sectors.

  • Linked power, heating and transport sectors will increasingly play a role.
  • Storage and the ability to introduce higher shares of variable renewable power into the grid will be key drivers.
  • EVs offer multiple solutions for growing urban environments and cities, including in terms oftheir energy needs


Challenges to overcome in achieving the potential increase in use include:

  • Increasing average annual sales of EVs from under 1 million in 2017 to 10 million by the early 2020s.
  • Vehicle cost is key, and the price of battery packs remains high.
  • Investing in charging infrastructure is also necessary to accelerate sales.