Jess Shanklemann / Bloomberg
Electric cars will outsell fossil-fuel powered vehicles within two decades as battery prices plunge, turning the global auto industry upside down and signaling economic turmoil for oil-exporting countries.
The Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast says adoption of emission-free vehicles will happen more quickly than previously estimated because the cost of building cars is falling so fast. The seismic shift will see cars with a plug account for a third of the global auto fleet by 2040 and displace about 8 million barrels a day of oil production—more than the 7 million barrels Saudi Arabia exports today.
“This is economics, pure and simple economics,” BNEF’s lead advanced-transportation analyst Colin McKerracher said before forecasts were published on Thursday. “Lithium-ion battery prices are going to come down sooner and faster than most other people expect.”