Independent think tank InfluenceMap studied the pace of the transition of 12 of the world's largest automakers to electric vehicles, according to The Guardian. The study found that only two of them, Tesla and Mercedes-Benz, are moving towards zero-emission vehicles at a pace consistent with global climate targets.
The transition to electric transport will affect the shift away from fossil fuels more than any other step. The International Energy Agency has calculated that in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2030, 57.5% of new cars (and 52% by 2029) would need to be zero-emissions. A warming of 1.5°C was named at the 2015 Paris climate conference as the acceptable maximum beyond which most of the globe would become uninhabitable. Almost all major car brands have said they plan to switch to electric vehicles by this time. At the same time, they continue to manufacture and sell diesel and gasoline vehicles because they generate income.
Tesla already has 100% of its cars with zero emissions. German Mercedes-Benz is well on its way to having 56% of its vehicles run on batteries by 2029. Other companies are far behind. The three largest Japanese manufacturers, Toyota, Honda and Nissan, have been the slowest adopters of the new technology, with less than 20% of zero-emission vehicles by 2029. German VW and BMW, South Korean Hyundai and American General Motors also do not fit into the schedule.
However, the chance that some automakers will still be able to accelerate is not lost yet. This can be helped by changes in legislation, such as a ban on the sale of gasoline and diesel cars, as well as the inevitable decrease in the cost of producing electric vehicles over time.