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Key points

  • Sales of light duty electric vehicles expanded by 67 per cent last year.
  • The first 100 million electric vehicles are expected to displace around 1.3Mbpd of oil demand circa 2030.
  • By 2050, we think electric vehicles will consume around 7 per cent of the world’s electricity.

The electric vehicle revolution: the road to the future

Electric vehicles will displace oil demand, drive a major uplift in nickel use in batteries and amplify the attractiveness of copper.

Electric vehicles

Sales of light duty electric vehicles increased by 67 per cent last year, with two million unit sales achieved for the first time.

More than half of all global sales were made in China as consumers rushed to take advantage of the reduction in subsidies.

This growth has slowed considerably in 2019 so far, reflecting the altered subsidy environment and the unfavourable background for new car purchases as a whole.

By 2035, we estimate that as many as 275 million electric vehicles will be on the road, around a 14 per cent share of the broader fleet. And by 2050, electric vehicles will consume around 7 per cent of the world’s electricity. 

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The electric vehicle revolution: batteries

We think that nickel rich lithium-ion batteries will help electric vehicles out-compete existing traditional engines on both performance and cost.

Economic and Commodity Outlook

Read BHP's economic and commodity outlook in full

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Data and events referenced on this page are current as of August 13, 2019. The data is compiled from a wide range of publically available and subscription sources, including Bloomberg, Platts, Wood Mackenzie, CRU, Thomson Reuters, Argus, Fertecon, FastMarkets, SMM, AME, Parker Bay, MySteel, LME, COMEX, SHFE, ICE, DCE, SGX and I.H.S Markit, among others. All monetary values are in US dollars unless otherwise specified.

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