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Electric cars to dominate roads of wealthy cities by 2030, predicts report

A new report predicts electric cars could account for two thirds of the cars on the roads of 50 major world cities by 2030.

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    The charging plug of an electric Volkswagen Passat car is pictured at charging station at a VW dealer in Berlin, Germany, February 2, 2016.
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Within the next 15 years, the world's wealthy cities could be teeming with electric cars.

That's the prediction of a new report, which claims electric cars could account for two thirds of the cars on the roads of 50 major world cities by 2030.

Researchers predict that a combination of growing consumer interest and stricter emissions standards will make that happen.

Mass electric-car adoption could be accompanied by increased use of ride-sharing services, as well as autonomous driving, according to the McKinsey & Co and Bloomberg New Energy Finance report (via Reuters).

The rosy outlook for electric cars is largely based on the assumption that cities will enact stricter emissions standards and incentivize zero-emission vehicles in order to deal with air pollution.

Certain cities have already taken steps in that direction.

Beijing previously gave electric cars priority in lotteries for new-car registrations, which have been restricted at times to combat the Chinese capital's infamous smog.

Earlier this year, Paris enacted a ban on older internal-combustion cars in its city center.

The report assumes prices of lithium-ion battery cells will continue to fall, as they have done thus far.

Prices dropped from around $1,000 per kilowatt-hour in 2010 to around $350 per kWh in 2015, the report notes.

Researchers expect prices to fall below $100 per kWh within the next decade.

Analysts generally consider $100 per kWh to be the threshold at which electric cars become price-competitive with gasoline and diesel cars.

A large portion of these new electric cars may not be privately owned, according to the report.

Increased use of ride sharing could reduce the number of vehicles on the road—and thus congestion—as well as provide a more convenient option for commuters, researchers argue.

Both privately-owned and shared electric cars could also gain autonomous capabilities, they say, echoing predictions made by many analysts.

The combination of self-driving cars and ride sharing in particular is viewed as an attractive business model, because eliminating human drivers dramatically reduces the cost of ride-sharing services.

General Motors is currently testing autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV electric-car prototypes through its Cruise Automation subsidiary, and has a relationship with ride-sharing giant Lyft.

Ford has said it will put a fully-autonomous car into production by 2021, exclusively for ride-sharing services.

This story originally appeared on GreenCarReports.

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