500000

Electric Cars

Tesla surpassed half a million cars built in 2020

19

Million Tons

of CO2 avoided by Tesla vehicles as of today

5

X Increase

5x growth in number of EVs sold annually between 2016 - 2020

View Our Analysis

The Path to Drawdown: Electric Vehicles

The first electric vehicle (EV) prototype was built in the 1820s, but its inability to surmount the challenge of building a lightweight, durable battery with adequate range allowed internal combustion engines to dominate the automotive and transport landscape since the 1920s.

Today, that’s changing. Thanks to supportive policies and declining costs, there are millions of EVs on the road. The difference in their impact on the climate is remarkable. Compared to petroleum-based vehicles, CO2 emissions drop by 50% if an EV’s power comes from the conventional power grid. If powered by solar energy, emissions are cut by 95%. Once households purchase EVs, the operating costs for those cars are often cheaper than gas-based cars, too.

What used to be a roadbump for EVs - the question of how far the car can travel on a single charge - is now much less of a concern. The average range of a battery electric vehicle produced in 2020 is about 217.5 miles, up from 124 miles in 2015.

What’s making this increase in mileage possible is the development in battery capacity. Global EV battery capacity is expected to increase from around 170 GWh per year today to 1.5 TWh per year in 2030. At the same time, the cost of batteries is falling as their production reaches greater scale.

To be on track to remain under 1.5ºC of warming, 100% of passenger cars and vans (p. 138) need to be electric by 2050. This is a jump from 5% of cars and 0% of vans in 2020, respectively. Accomplishing this overhaul of the transportation landscape would require EV production and ownership to continue expanding over the next three decades:

  • <::marker> 11 million EV cars and vans were on the road in 2020
  • <::marker> 2 billion EV cars and vans (100% of total global sales) need to be on the road by 2050

This would require a CAGR of 18.94% from 2018-2050

What We Want to See Improve

Publish Exact Emissions Data

Tesla’s Impact Report shows lifecycle emissions for each of its EV models at both their manufacturing and use phases, but the company does not publish aggregate emissions figures in absolute terms. It’s therefore impossible to evaluate Tesla against other automakers at the company level. This is in stark contrast to its American competitors, Ford and General Motors, which do track and publish their emissions metrics. We urge Tesla to start publishing its scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions metrics.

Set Clear Emissions Targets

On top of not showing its company-level emissions metrics, Tesla also has not set any sustainability targets. While we applaud the sheer amount of CO2 that Tesla vehicles are helping to avoid, we still need to see a commitment to cutting absolute GHG emissions. This is especially urgent now, when Tesla is expanding its production capacity internationally.

Recover Solar Energy Business

We applaud Tesla for its success so far in the EV and energy storage industries. Its solar energy offerings sales, however, has been on a relative decline over the last few years, falling from 523 MW worth of delivery in 2017 to 205 MW in 2020. We would like to see Tesla regain this business segment, particularly as an integrated component with its energy storage systems.

Related Electric Car Stocks in the Climate Index

View All Climate Index Stocks →

Allocated Company Description

5.00%

Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA)

Tesla Motors makes EVs, battery energy storage, solar panels and solar roof tiles. They’ve done the most to make EVs cool

4.12%

Nio Inc. (NIO)

Nio Inc. makes EVs and integrate self-driving systems in EVs. They’re helping to electrify the transport system

2.55%

XPeng Inc. (XPEV)

XPeng makes electric passenger cars and SUVs with a long range and autonomous driving capabilities. They’re helping electrify transport

0.69%

Lennox International (LII)

Lennox makes high-efficiency heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration products, helping building managers cut energy use and emissions

0.66%

Arrival (ARVL)

Arrival makes commercial electric vans and buses through an innovative and efficient manufacturing process. They’re helping electrify transportation

0.30%

Fisker Inc. (FSR)

Fisker makes luxury and high-end electric cars and SUVs with a long range. They’re pushing the electrification of transportation

0.17%

The Lion Electric Company (LEV)

LEV makes electric trucks, school buses and minibuses in North America. They also make batteries and EV charging infrastructure, all key Drawdown solutions

0.16%

Proterra Inc. (PTRA)

Proterra offers electric transit buses, EV batteries and energy storage, as well as EV charging solutions - all key to electrifying transportation

0.12%

Canoo Inc. (GOEV)

Canoo makes a range of electric vehicles designed for families and commercial uses. They’re helping electrify transportation

0.05%

XL Fleet Corp. (XL)

XL Fleet makes hybrid and electric systems so that leading automakers can make more low and zero-emission vehicles

0.03%

Arcimoto, Inc. (FUV)

Arcimoto makes ultra-efficient, fun, pure electric vehicles for passenger transportation. They’re helping electrify transportation.

0.03%

Lightning eMotors, Inc. (ZEV)

Lightning eMotors makes electric commercial vehicles and charging solutions for those vehicles. They're helping electrify transportation

0.02%

Ayro, Inc. (AYRO)

Ayro makes EVs designed for narrow paths, college campus walkways, and last-mile delivery. EVs are key in electrifying transportation

0.02%

GreenPower Motor Company Inc. (GP)

GP makes electric commercial vehicles for delivery, public transit, schools, micro-transit, and shuttles. They’re helping electrify transportation

0.02%

Jiuzi Holdings, Inc. (JZXN)

Jiuzi Holdings and their subsidiaries make EVs for the Chinese market. They’re helping electrify transportation

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