For sustainable society


Intensified “Electric Mobility (EV) shift” Hot relationship between environment and mobility

● Significant reduction of CO2 emissions with EV is expected

In recent years, auto manufacturers in Japan, the United States, Europe, and China have been rapidly dynamizing the sector of electric vehicles (EV). This is expressed as “EV shift” and is often mentioned in media news.

Tesla, an EV startup in the United States, is the powerhouse. Tesla was established in 2003 with the investment of founders such as Google and eBay, and has grown to sell 245,000 EVs in 2018. They are constructing a plant with a production capacity of 500,000 a year in China, and actively working on EV manufacturing, which shows that they are actively working on EV manufacturing.

As if chasing after Tesla, the trends of other auto manufacturers in the world are also changing. In March 2019, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess commented that “Volkswagen will change radically” and announced a plan to produce 22 million EVs over the next 10 years. In addition, BMW and Daimler have also announced that they would bring EVs to the market on a large scale.

Comments from each government centered on Europe are also encouraging the EV shift. The new ecology minister in France said that “we are announcing an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040,” and the UK has been in tune with the idea. Subsequently, Norway and the Netherlands also announced that they would achieve being in the same situation by 2025. The situation increasingly has been heated,

However, the country which made the greatest impact was China. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) report, the number of EVs in the world has increased from 2 million to 3 million between 2016 and 2017. And China accounts for 40% of them. Why is the EV shift accelerating at this furious speed?

● Can EV be an ace in the hole in improving global warming and air pollution?

The main purpose of EV is to prevent global warming. About 20% of emissions of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, which are considered to be the cause comes from the transportation sector, of which 75% is said to be emissions from automobiles.

For this reason, EU countries have tightened regulations: setting the average CO2 emissions of newly sold vehicles to 95g/km in 2021. With converting to the fuel efficiency based on Japanese standards, it is approximately 24.4 km/L. The challenge is that this target should be achieved on average for all vehicles, not for the specific vehicles.

And EV is the key solution for making it. Since EV does not emit CO2 while driving, it has a great effect. Also, since the shift to renewable energy is promoted in Europe, the amount of CO2 emissions is reduced, which further enhances the effect.

It is not only Europe where is taking measures. In California, with high conscious of environment, the target sales volume of EVs of each auto manufacturer is determined individually, and if it cannot be achieved, they must pay a fine. These movements are making auto manufacturers shift to EV.

In this way, the shift to EV, which has become a global trend, has another major issue as well as global warming. It is air pollution from exhaust gases and health damage due to the pollution. There are many criticisms especially of diesel-powered automobil, and major European countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, and France, are actively working on reducing diesel-powered automobile, including the aim of air pollution control. One of the sources of fine particles called PM 2.5 that has become a major problem in China is internal combustion locomotives. Some say that this may be brought in Japan by air flow and be affecting our health, so we are no longer irrelevant.

● Is EV a huge storage battery? Its new utilization method

In this way, while expectations for EV are increasing from both aspects of global warming and air pollution, here is the beginning of the search for new possibilities. That is what is called “V2H (Vehicle to Home)” and “V2G (Vehicle to Grid)”. These are new ideas of utilization, focusing on the battery that is the energy source of EV.

V2H is an idea to utilize the electricity charged in the EV for home use. There are profits such as electrical products can be used even during blackouts due to disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes, and some experiments with EV have already begun.

On the other hand, V2G is an idea to supply the electricity in the EV to the community through a grid. Although this is just beginning to be explored, it is expected that the electricity generated by renewable energy such as photovoltaic (PV) power generation and wind power generation is charged to EV and used at home in the future.