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Five Steps to Get Road Transport on Track for Net-Zero Emissions

EV sales are increasing fast, but urgent action is needed to clean up trucks and cars in emerging economies.

Car transporter lorries travelling among congested traffic on M1 motorway in Hertfordshire, UK.

Car transporter lorries travelling among congested traffic on M1 motorway in Hertfordshire, UK.

Photographer: Tim Graham/Getty Images Europe
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The latest car sales data from China shows a steady acceleration in electric-vehicle adoption. Shipments of passenger EVs more than doubled last month compared to the same period last year. Around a quarter of sales in China so far in 2022 are either fully electric or plug-in hybrids. That rate can probably hold up, leading to some 5.7 million plug-in vehicle sales this year.

Covering topics related to EVs feels like there’s a constant drumbeat of good news like this. So far, the numbers tend to only go in one direction, and that’s up. But here’s a downer to balance things out: despite the recent faster EV adoption, road transport is still nowhere near on track to reach carbon neutrality, or “net zero,” by 2050.