SADC Futures of e-Mobility: EVs as Enablers of a New Energy Paradigm
The global energy landscape has changed dramatically over the past 25 years, but there are potentially much larger and rapid changes in store in the future. Resources for the Future recently released a game-changing report1 that compares “apples-with-apples” through a unique methodology that provides an integrated analysis of the long-term energy projections of various governmental, intergovernmental, and private organisations.2 The report entitled Global Energy Outlook 2019: The Next Generation of Energy states that global energy consumption is poised to grow by over 20-30% through 2040 and beyond.3 In the absence of ambitious climate change targets, this growth would be largely driven by the increased consumption of fossil fuels. The outlook is largely framed by the increased energy consumption needs that are included in the economic and population growth projections of the global ‘East’,4 whereas consumption levels in the ‘West’5 are projected to remain largely fixed at current rates. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions also continue to grow if policymakers fail to introduce changes in the energy mix or make use of new technologies that would engineer greater energy efficiency in the long run. The role of electricity in all forms of energy consumption becomes increasingly prominent, especially where scenarios integrate a rapidly growing electric vehicle (EV) market into their parameters. However, while EVs fulfil an increasingly significant role in the future of transportation, they are not the sole solution in reaching a zero-carbon economy. However, EVs might be the initial difference that makes a difference in that they offer a viable alternative in various forms of mobility in the face of a global decline in oil demand.