Yesterday was Earth Day, a global chance for people to consider their contribution to the health of the earth. 2019 is the 49th year that Earth Day has been marked and was the impetus for a number of global challenges and initiatives.
These range from protection of wildlife and species near the brink of extinction to the reforestation of land and energy efficiency.
As in previous years, the focus on climate change was very strong, with several initiatives highlighting the cost and implications of climate change on human life.
One of these initiatives focused on the electrification of transport in cities. This is a subject which has garnered a lot of attention recently, especially in light of news that Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City have said they will remove diesel cars and vans by 2025. Norway will phase out conventional cars by 2025, followed by France and the United Kingdom in 2040 and 2050. Critics of the moves say that supporting legislation and regulation is not being put in place quickly enough to make enough of a difference in the medium term.
However, some European countries have policies in place that tip the scales against gasoline and diesel. In Norway, 52% of new car sales were electric in 2017. EV buyers in that country get free or subsidised parking, tolls, and charging, as well as generous tax breaks.
Electric car manufacturer and visionary, Elon Musk has said that 2019 is the year of the solar roof and storage – coupled I imagine, with a Tesla electric vehicle for good measure. The role of electric vehicles has further been highlighted with the first Drive Electric Earth Day, a campaign to encourage the use of electric vehicles over the month of April. This initiative is predominantly focused on events (189 in total) in the US, Mexico and the Caribbean.
In the first ever Tesla 2018 Impact Report, the company showed the impact of its products and operations on the environment. According to the report, more than 550,000 Tesla vehicles have been sold and up to 10 billion miles driven – and four million tons of carbon dioxide have been kept out of the atmosphere. Impressive?
Are you implementing or rolling out an electric vehicle programme through your utility, city or regional government? Do you believe that banning internal combustion engines will make any difference, or are we just shifting the problem? Let us know your thoughts here.
Until next time!