Leading Electric Cars Cities
Recent study published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) looks at the increasing popularity of electric vehicles (EV) and finds 16 cities and regions in the world that account for one third of all EVs in use. EVs are becoming increasingly popular as drivers begin to recognise their advantages. For example new buyers of EVs are offered a mix of financial and non-financial incentives such as tax credits, purchase subsidies, discounted tolls, free parking and inner city driving, access to restricted highway lanes, etc.
So, what cities are the most successful when it comes to EVs?
As the infographic illustrates, the most successful region is the Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan. Of all registered cars in this area, 2,183 are EVs. And, by the end of 2013, the local authorities aim to have 3,000 EVs on the road.
The second most successful region is non other then the city of Los Angelos. LA Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, aims to turn the â€˜car capital of the worldâ€™ into the â€˜electric car capital of the worldâ€™. The goal of 80,000 EVs by 2015 may sound surprising to those who are familiar with the history of EVs in that region. After producing nearly 5,000 EVs in the 1990's, Californian car manufacturers had thel all destroyed or donated to museums a few years later, as consumers failed to accept this new breed of cars. The u-turn in LAâ€™s policy has resulted in more than 2,000 registered electric cars.
Europen cities are also catching up with the trend with Rotterdam being the most successful electric car city in Europe with 1,100 EVs. In fact, considering the ratio of EVs to petrol fuelled vehicles, Rotterdam is the most successful EV hub in the world with 532 EVs per every 100,000 registered vehicles.
Despite the efforts of Mayor of London Boris Johnson to turn Britainâ€™s capital into the â€˜EV capital of Europeâ€™, London did not make it into the top 16 electric car cities in the world.
The IEA study took an in-depth look at the energy infrastructure, travel patterns and initiatives of 16 cities and regions all over the world. It found that all of these areas are actively pursuing development goals through different innovative policies and programmes. The strategies include specific projects such as sightseeing EV taxi service in Hakone (a town in the Kanagawa Prefecture) and in Amsterdam, for instance, Gar2Go allows members of the public to pick up and drop off pay-as-you-go electric cars all over city was introduced, and Barcelona, where owners of electric motorbikes can charge their vehicle for free at hotels and university campuses.
Some of the projects also have an international focus with Shanghai leading the Electric Vehicle Initiative (EVI) that plans to build a demonstration base for exploring sustainable development of urban transportation, organize automotive enterprise clubs and set up international communication platforms. Part of that initiative is the Test Drive/Ride Centre of China, set up to educate drivers about EV development, history and future trends as well as to promote the environmental benefits of EVs. This initiative was presented in the United States at the Clean Energy Ministerial and received positive response from number of countries including France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, South Africa and Portugal. By 2020, China and the United States jointly forecast sales of 2.5 million electric cars. The European Union has more optimistic numbers and predicts 20 million electric cars on the roads by 2020.