EDINBURGH, Scotland—Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will be the dominant form of road transport in 30 years, accounting for 56 percent of all vehicle sales, according to new study by Wood Mackenzie Ltd. The energy consulting firm predicts that 2050 will see 875 million electric passenger vehicles, 70 million electric commercial vehicles and 5 million fuel cell vehicles in use worldwide.

According to Wood Mackenzie, more than three out of every five vehicles on the road will be electric vehicles in China, Europe and the United States. Almost 50 percent of commercial vehicles will be electric in those regions by 2050.

“Net-zero is the new mantra and road transport is one of the low-hanging fruits,” says Ram Chandrasekaran, head of road transport at Wood MacKenzie. “A growing list of countries and automakers are committing to carbon neutral targets and this has completely transformed the global road transport landscape.

“In the first quarter of 2021 alone, electric vehicle sales rocketed to almost 550,000, which represents a 66 percent increase over the same period last year,” explains Chandrasekaran. “The re-emergence of the U.S. as a climate leader and China’s net-zero target are key to this surge.”

Chandrasekaran says the projected growth in electric vehicle sales spells bad news for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. By 2050, almost half of the remaining ICE stock will reside in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Russia.

“Mirroring the growth of electric vehicles, the number of charging outlets is projected to swell to 550 million globally by the middle of the decade,” claims Chandrasekaran. “An overwhelming majority (90 percent) of these outlets will continue to be residential chargers. Policy support, including subsidies and regulations, will ensure that the EV charging market grows in line with electric vehicles themselves.”