Electric vehicles on the road to triple by 2020 — IEA

The number of electric vehicles (EVs) on roads worldwide is set to more than triple by the end of the decade, growing to 13 million from 3.7 million last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Wednesday.

According to Paris-based institution, the total amount of electric cars, including battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric passenger light-duty vehicles, increased by 57% in 2017 from the previous year. And China accounted for 40% of that growth, it said.

Electric vehicles on the road to triple by 2020 — IEA

Source: IEA’s Global Electric Vehicle Outlook 2018.

The agency said that while sales of those vehicles are expected to increase by 24% each year on average through to 2030 more research, policies and incentives are needed to drive further uptake.

Battery costs remain a major component of the current price tag for EVs, so financial incentives such as rebates, tax breaks or exemptions will be needed to support electric car deployment.

As a result, EA's 22-year outlook leaves plenty of room for fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Forecasts put the world's total car count at roughly 2 billion somewhere in the 2035 to 2040 window.

“Dynamic market uptake of electric vehicles has occurred in recent years,” the IEA said in a report.

“Ongoing support and commitments for increased deployment of EVs from policy makers and the automotive industry suggest that this trend is not going to abate in the coming decade,” it added.

Electric vehicles on the road to triple by 2020 — IEA

Source: IEA’s Global Electric Vehicle Outlook 2018.

Policies in place today will make China and Europe the biggest adopters, in the IEA's view. In China, credits and subsidies will help EVs grow to account for more than a quarter of the car market by 2030. Meanwhile, tightening emissions standards and high fuel taxes in Europe will boost the vehicles to 23% of the market.

A party for battery metals producers

The impact of a massive adoption of EVs is nothing but positive for lithium, cobalt and copper producers, metals that are key ingredients in the rechargeable batteries that power electric vehicles as well as electronics from mobile phones to laptops.

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