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USA: Tesla CEO sees EVs being as popular as gas-powered cars

FREMONT, Calif (Reuters) – Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk, an entrepreneur known for his outsized ambition, on Friday made a stunning forecast: battery-powered cars will likely match the internal combustion engine in popularity by the middle of the next decade.

“In 20 years more than half of new cars manufactured will be fully electric,” Musk said. “I feel actually quite safe in that bet. That’s a bet I will put money on.”

Musk, who divides his time between Tesla and his space exploration startup SpaceX, said it might even happen sooner than that.

“It’s probably going to be in the 12- to 15-year time frame,” he said, speaking at an event at Tesla’s manufacturing plant in Fremont, where he handed over the keys to the first buyers of the new Model S sedan.

Electric vehicles have struggled to find an audience beyond Hollywood celebrities, Silicon Valley venture capitalists and policymakers in Washington, primarily due to their premium pricing and anxieties about their driving range.
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