At least 1 million electric cars are expected to be in use worldwide by the end of the decade, powered by high efficiency battery systems now in development, says a recent BIS Strategic Decisions report.

The driving force for the advent of mass market electric car technology will be environmental pressure, says the report. Initial impetus will come from stringent emission regulations such as those now falling in place in the United States.

California is seen as a pathfinder. It has mandated that 2 percent of vehicles sold in 1998 will be zero emission vehicles and 10 percent by the year 2003. (This equates to about 150,000 electric-vehicle sales in that year).

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