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The growing popularity of electric cars won’t hasten the arrival of peak petrol demand, and the majority of the world’s new cars will continue to be powered by petrol for at least the next two decades, according to data from Facts Global Energy.

The report is the work of Cuneyt Kazokoglu, head of oil demand at consultancy firm FGE, and suggests that despite the hype surrounding future electric vehicles, it would be incorrect to forecast a decline in oil demand – electric car numbers will still be dwarfed on the roads by petrol vehicles in the decades to come.

With the number of passenger vehicles on the roads globally expected to grow to 1.8 billion by 2040, the consultancy estimates 10 per cent of that figure will be accounted for by electric cars. That would still represent significant growth – less than 1 per cent of new cars sold globally in 2016 were electric – but not enough to kickstart a decline in demand for petroleum.

The report doesn’t identify how landmark legislation such as the Paris agreement will affect global uptake of electric vehicles, but it does highlight several hurdles EVs must overcome, and why car production and market trends point towards petrol remaining dominant for a few decades more.

Electric cars: the good, the bad and the ugly: Electric cars are nothing new – the first ones appeared in the mid 1800s.However, it’s only now that the motor industry is finally embracing EVs, and arguably it was the phenomenal success of Tesla that kick-started the switch from a reliance on internal combustion engines.According to a recent report by McKinsey & Co and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, electric cars could account for two-thirds of the vehicles on the roads of 50 major world cities by 2030.As EVs come down in price and battery technology develops (making so-called range anxiety a thing of the past), many would argue that zero emission electric cars are now a no-brainer.From the first Porsche to the BMW Vision Next 100 concept, we’ve been taking a look at some of the most memorable electric-powered cars ever…Electric cars: the good, the bad and the ugly

According to the analyst, we must look further than simply the falling cost of electric car batteries. Strong government incentives will remain significant and the “shift towards electric has to be supported” for some time yet. When incentives were dropped in Denmark in 2016, electric car sales plunged 80 per cent compared to the previous year.

Battery technology is improving and car manufacturers are beginning to offer EVs with fairly useful ranges, but the rate of development is not as fast as is necessary to trigger a significant shift in consumer attitudes and bring the cost of electric cars in line with petrol powered equivalents. Market assumptions hold that a battery pack must cost $150 per kWh in terms of capacity in order for mass production to make sense, but even at this price an electric car battery pack large enough to provide a petrol rivalling range will cost too much.

Battery density is an issue too and the report indicates that not enough is being done here. Larger battery cells for longer ranges can be counter productive as they add weight, and manufacturers need to pack more range into smaller battery packs. The rate of progress in this area is too slow, says the analyst.

Lastly, the report claims that the ultimate fate of petrol demand will be settled in the growing Asian market rather than in the west. FGE expects more growth in this region over the next 25 years than in the rest of the world combined. Should electric car sales represent a small market slice here, petrol demand is more likely to continue to grow, rather than plateau and begin to decline.

  • Auto Express

PHOTO: Electric cars: the good, the bad and the ugly


Image credit: Thinkstock

PHOTO CREDIT: Thinkstock

A close family friend said the boy died instantly when his neck and back were broken.

An 18-year-old boy was found dead after what appears to have been a hit-and-run incident in Centurion, Pretoria.

Ruan Viljoen, 18, died instantly when his neck and back were broken, said a close family friend, Michael Berning.

“It was discovered that Ruan had a slight accident with his car, and he couldn’t move the vehicle from where it got stuck,” said Berning.

“He then locked the car and walked on foot to look for help when he must have been knocked over.”

Viljoen’s body was found by paramedics on Sunday morning, Rekord Centurion reported.

ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said paramedics on duty spotted a car on the N14 highway and stopped to investigate.

Berning spoke in detail this week of the agony that preceded the final identification of Viljoen’s body.

He said Viljoen’s stepfather, Sergei Greyvenstein, told him on Sunday that the young man did not return home the previous night.

The two were colleagues and were on their way to work when Greyvenstein conveyed this.

Greyvenstein said his wife was a bit stressed, as Ruan did not come home from visiting his friends.

At the time, they could not get hold of Ruan as his phone’s battery had run out.

Berning said they received a call about a car being found, and he and Greyvenstein went to the spot to see if everything was okay.

“On our way, we saw the police cordoning off an area on the mid-patch of grass of the highway,” he said.

“We did not pay much attention, as we were searching for Ruan’s car.”

They drove on and spotted Ruan’s car a few hundred metres further away from where the investigation was taking place at the time.

Indications were that it had been reversed under a tree.

“We went back to the crime scene to ask who was lying there. The forensics team were still busy taking pictures and doing their investigation.”

Berning said one of the investigators allowed him to take a peek at the body.

“When they opened the face, I could only see one half as he was lying face down. This part was also covered with his hair,” said Berning.

– Caxton News Service