Electric cars are about to become commonplace in the United States.
That’s thanks to a growing number of electric cars, which promise to become more affordable, safer and greener than traditional cars.
The US has become one of the few countries in the world where electric cars can be bought for less than $100, and the prices of new electric cars are expected to fall as they are sold.
But it will be decades before these cars become ubiquitous.
Here’s what it means for electric vehicles to become common, and how they might change the world.
Electric cars will have an impact on the environment In 2020, we will have around 40 million electric vehicles on the roads in the US, with around 1.5 million in production.
By 2030, these cars will be less than 10 per cent of the vehicles sold in the country.
This will leave more than half the cars on the road on their own, with the rest being used by commuters and the disabled.
In addition, we’ll also have more electric vehicles than ever before on the highways, with 1.7 million electric cars on US roads by 2030.
This could be a big change.
“By 2030, we could see 100 million EVs,” says Tim Kao, a researcher at Stanford University who studies sustainable transport.
“That’s a huge amount of EV sales.”
By 2050, these electric vehicles will represent only 0.2 per cent on the US road fleet.
In 2030, the cars will represent a small fraction of the emissions generated in the transport sector.
And the US is already producing more than enough EVs to meet our demand.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the United Nations Environment Programme predicts that the US will have over 400,000 EVs by 2050.
This would make it the second-largest country in the OECD (see map).
By 2050 these EVs will be used by an average of 1.2 million people, or around 10 per the country’s population.
“The world will have a lot of EVs,” explains Kevin Liao, a transport expert at the University of Chicago.
“It’s not going to be a problem for most of us, because we have a very good infrastructure for EVs and for the environment.”
In addition to the environmental benefits, EVs are expected the save energy and help make the country more energy efficient.
They also offer a way to reduce the number of vehicles on roads.
The average vehicle in the USA today uses 2.5 times more electricity than it did in 1990, and uses an average 8.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per kilometre.
“There’s no reason for cars to be used to pollute,” says Liao.
“Electric cars will not just be more environmentally friendly, they’ll be less polluting, because they’ll run more efficiently.”