Economy, Auto

Electric Vehicles on the Road Set to Triple in 2 Years

More than half of global sales of EVs in 2017 were in China, followed by the US.More than half of global sales of EVs in 2017 were in China, followed by the US.

Teslas and Nissan Leafs are likely to become a much more common sight on the world’s roads in the next two years, the International Energy Agency says.

The global fleet of electric vehicles is likely to more than triple to 13 million by the end of the decade from 3.7 million last year, according to a report released Wednesday from the Paris-based institution, which was set up to advise industrial nations on energy policy. Sales may soar 24% each year on average through to 2030, reported Bloomberg.

Tesla Inc. and Nissan Motor Co. have some of the best known EVs on the road now, but major automakers from Volkswagen AG to General Motors Co. and Audi AG have followed suit in announcing dozens of battery-powered versions of their models.

Electric vehicles are expected to take just over a quarter of vehicles sold in the Asian nation by 2030, up from 2.2% last year, according to the IEA’s estimates. More than half of global sales in 2017 were in China, followed by the US.

 EVs to Displace Lots of Oil

Electric cars run on batteries charged by power plants, instead of on gasoline or diesel fuel. With an estimated 130 million light-duty vehicles expected on the world’s roads by 2030, the IEA estimates about 2.57 million barrels of oil per day will not be needed. That is about as much as Germany uses each day.

Demand for batteries is expected to rise by a factor of 15 by 2030, largely driven by light-duty vehicles such as cars and vans. China’s burgeoning market is expected to make up half of the world’s demand, followed by Europe, India and the US.

That means the world needs many more battery production plants like the Gigafactory that billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla is building in Nevada. It will produce 35 gigawatt-hours of batteries over 4.9 million square feet of operating area.


There will be 1.5 million electric buses in use worldwide by 2030, up from 370,000 last year, according to the IEA.

Almost 100,000 electrified city buses were sold last year, 99% of them in China. The Chinese city of Shenzhen is leading the pack with an all-electric bus fleet. A number of cities in the Europe’s Nordic region such as Oslo, Trondheim and Gothenburg also have electric buses in operation.

Cobalt and lithium are key ingredients in the rechargeable batteries that power electric vehicles as well as electronics from mobile phones to laptops. Demand could possibly rise tenfold, but technological advances and adjustments to battery chemistry could also significantly reduce this.

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