Global Census of Zero Emission Vehicle Goals

A study By Mollie Cohen D’Agostino, Anaya Ward, Sam Fuller, and Jen-Ann Lee

UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy

Database Last updated: January 2022

Study Table of Contents

Taxonomy of Goal Types
Key Findings
Key Findings Countries
Key Findings U.S. States
Key Findings Companies 
Policy Recommendations

Methodology - ZEV Goals Catalogue

UC Davis researchers collected statements of ZEV goals (or a lack thereof) from 194 countries, 50 U.S. states plus Washington, D.C., and 21 transportation companies. Many of the ZEV goals are percentage based (e.g., 100% ZEV sales by 2050), while others are an absolute numerical target (e.g., 650,000 ZEVs purchased by 2040). The objective of this study was to capture all goals and categorize them based on goal type along several metrics, including goal formality and target. 

The English language search tools used in this study were a limitation that may obscure results. The census reflects available data on ZEV goals, given these limitations. The data collection methodology was to conduct repeated web browser searches using a consistent combination of search terms: [state/country name/company] and “ZEV” or “EV” (for electric vehicle) and “goal.” Search terms for [country name] and “ZEV” or “EV target” were also employed. Approximately 20 of the top search result listings from each query were examined and selected with priority given to public sector websites, research organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and lastly formal and informal news media sources. 

Data collection was initiated for 194 countries using a list of all UN member countries and Taiwan. For U.S. states, the study employed the full list of the states, adding the District of Columbia. To select the remaining census participants from the private sector, a more general web search was deployed using terms for ZEV/EV goals combined with the names of leading manufacturers (OEMs) and transportation network companies (TNCs), and those with goals are included.

Taxonomy of Goal Types

Specific targets for ZEV goals vary considerably. The following is a breakdown of the types of goals found in the census. 

Formality Level

Levels of formality vary among ZEV goals. The study team built off of a classification schema developed by the International Energy Agency (IEA) [3], refining their definitions to suit the sample, and employing the following three goal types: 

  • Ambition: This is a more informal goal, pledge, or promise, made by a leader of a governing body or private organization, which has no legal ramifications or requirements. 
  • Proposal: This will become an official goal pending approval by the necessary decision-making authorities.  
  • Official Target: This is an official goal that has been approved by the necessary authorities (e.g., statute, regulation, executive order). 

Numeration Type

There are two main types of numerical goals: 

  • Percentage goals: Displayed in either percentage (e.g., 100% goal by 2040)
  • Absolute numerical goals: Displayed in real values (e.g., 100,000 vehicle sales by 2050) 

Specific Goal Targets 

There are different targets within the ZEV sector that can be the focus of a goal. For example, a target could focus on on-the-road vehicles or charging stations, e.g., “We pledge to sell 10 million electric vehicles by 2030” versus “We pledge to build five million EV charging stations by 2030.” Overall, there are five goal target categories, listed below:

Goal Targets:

  • Vehicles Manufactured
  • Vehicle Sold
  • Vehicles on the road (sometimes referred to as Vehicle stock) 
  • Vehicles in a shared fleet (e.g. vehicles operating on the Uber app)
  • Charging Stations

Additional Vehicle Targets by Class/Model 

Lastly, vehicle class or vehicle drive train is also specified in many goals. Targets have addressed:

Vehicle Power Trains:

  • All Electric Vehicles (e.g., Battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell) 
  • Hybrid and Electric vehicles
  • Only Hybrid vehicles
  • Only Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles 

Other Vehicle Classes

  • Light Duty Electric Vehicles 
  • Medium and Heavy Duty Electric Vehicles 
  • Public Transit Vehicles 
  • Government Fleet Vehicles (which can include public transit vehicles) 
  • Two-wheeled vehicles (e.g., E-bikes, scooters)