One in six cars worldwide in 2020 must be electric

Charging an electric car with the power cable supply plugged in, closeup

According to a recent study by the World Energy Council (WEC), more than 16 percent of vehicles sold worldwide in 2020 will have to be powered by electricity to meet ­existing emissions standards. In comparing emissions-reduction targets for the world’s three largest auto markets (United States, China and the Europe Union), WEC concludes that “larger volumes of electric-car sales will be needed to plug a gap between fuel-economy goals and improvements that can be realistically expected from internal-combustion engines.”

In the United States, the gap translates to 900,000 vehicles, or 11 percent of 2020 new car sales. Currently, only California has adopted a zero-emissions vehicle requirement. WEC cautions that significantly increasing electric car sales, even with hefty incentive programs, will be ­difficult due to concerns over cost and range.

Source: Cooperative Finance Corporation