21 of the 25 companies assessed had a low-carbon vehicle on the market in 2017. Only 4 companies – Mazda, Subaru, Suzuki and Tata – did not have any low-carbon vehicles on the market over the assessment period. Despite the majority of companies having a low-carbon option, the proportion of total sales represented by these vehicles is extremely low. For 16 of the 25 companies assessed, low-carbon vehicles represent less than 1 percent of total annual sales. Only five of the 25 companies were above the International Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Perspectives’ (IEA-ETP) global sectoral benchmark of 3.2 percent of total annual sales from low-carbon vehicles in 2017.
BAIC demonstrated a noteworthy increase in low-carbon vehicle share across the assessment period; its low-carbon vehicle share grew from 0.05 percent of total sales in 2012 to 7 percent of total sales in 2017. BMW also achieved a high increase, from 0.07 percent of total annual sales to 5.7 percent of total annual sales over the period 2013-2018.
As a manufacturer of exclusively electric vehicles (EV), Tesla are an outlier in the sample. Trend projections based on past and present low-carbon vehicle share data show that of the companies fully aligned on this indicator, only Tesla’s projected low-carbon vehicle sales (which represents 100 percent of Tesla’s sales), remains above the scientific low-carbon benchmark post-2025. By 2023, FAW, GAC, Geely and BMW’s trends are projected to fall behind the IEA-ETP benchmark scenario for low-carbon vehicle share, and by 2025 BAIC will also fall below the benchmark. This reinforces the point that even the current high performers need to increase efforts to meet the requirements set out by the 2-degree scenario. These trend projections do not account for any company’s EV strategies, which could drive the necessary step change in action. However, companies need to quantify their commitment to low-carbon vehicle growth to give stakeholders confidence that this is possible and appropriately accounted for.
Changan and Daimler, who have a strong but not fully low-carbon pathway-aligned vehicle shares, also have ambitious EV growth plans. Changan is aiming for a full ICE phase-out by 2025 under its Shangri La strategic plan. Daimler plans to have 50 percent of its vehicle sales portfolio electric by 2030. Daimler has also committed to stop ICE engine development.
Notably, some of the benchmark leaders including Groupe PSA, Renault and Volkswagen all fall within the group of 16 companies with less than 1 percent of total annual sales coming from low-carbon vehicles. Groupe PSA and Volkswagen have recognised the need to rapidly increase low-carbon vehicle share and have quantified their commitments to do so. Groupe PSA plans for 50 percent of sales in 2035 to come from EVs, and Volkswagen plans for 40 percent of its fleet to be EVs by 2030. Renault has not made a quantified commitment to significantly increase low-carbon vehicle share.