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Asia: Electric cars boost auto sales market

SINGAPORE: A new wave of plug-in electric vehicles hitting the market is giving the auto sales industry a boost.

This comes amid US’ auto sales figures, which grew at the fastest pace in January in almost four years — a sign that demand is returning to the sector.

Deliveries of the all-electric Nissan Leaf totalled 676 in January, marking 10,369 US sales for the world’s best-selling electric car since its December 2010 launch.

And while sales and production of electric cars are providing the industry with a boost, big oil players say electric cars are unlikely to outnumber their gasoline cousins by 2030.

According to BP’s Energy Outlook for 2030, energy used for transport will continue to be dominated by oil, but oil usage will decline, as other sources grow more rapidly.

Growth is expected to slow over the next 20 years to average 1.1 per cent annually, in comparison to 1.8 per cent during 1990-2010, with OECD demand slowing and then declining post-2015.

BP said the slowing of growth in total energy in transport is related to higher oil prices and improving fuel economy, vehicle saturation in mature economies, and expected increases in taxation and subsidy reduction in developing economies.

The oil giant said the growth of oil in transport will slow even more dramatically, largely because of displacement of oil by biofuels, and is likely to plateau in the mid-2020s.
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