Countries and automakers agree to go all-electric by 2040 in weak new goal set at COP26

At COP26, several major countries and automakers have agreed to set a new goal to go all-electric by 2040.

The goal is uninspired and likely useless.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is currently being held in Glasgow, where world leaders have gathered to update their goals and plans to address climate change.

Amid the conference today, several participating nations issued a new declaration regarding the transition to electric vehicles.

They have agreed to move to “all new sales of zero-emission cars and vans globally by 2040”:

As representatives of governments, businesses, and other organisations with an influence over the future of the automotive industry and road transport, we commit to rapidly accelerating the transition to zero emission vehicles to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

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

Here’s a list of the nations that have joined the declaration:

  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Finland
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Mexico
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Paraguay
  • Poland
  • Rwanda
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay

While the US hasn’t joined the declaration, several states have, including California, New York, and Washington.

Several automakers and companies have also joined the declaration, including Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover, and Volvo.

Electrek‘s take

In my opinion, this is a weak and unambitious goal.

There are several nations in that pledge that have already individually announced more aggressive timelines to phase out fossil fuel-powered cars.

Norway is aiming for 2025, and it is on a path to achieving it even sooner.

The Netherlands, a country that has also signed the declaration, has previously announced a ban on gas and diesel cars by 2030.

These goals are more ambitious and actually reflect a more realistic timeline of the shift in consumer demand for electric vehicles.

As I have often stated before, I believe that there will be a major shift in consumer demand around 2024-25 that will result in virtually all new car buyers realizing that their next car is going to have to be electric.

Many automakers won’t be ready for this, but it’s going to happen as buyers realize that electric vehicles are not only a better proposition out of the box with all the compelling models that are going to be available by then, but it will also make no financial sense when accounting for resale value and gas savings.

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