Will electric vehicles replace internal combustion engine vehicles entirely?

Around the world, the EV industry is rapidly growing. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 10.5 million EVs were sold worldwide in 2022 alone. Over 2.3 million electric cars were sold in the first quarter of 2023, about 25% more than in the same period in 2022. The IEA expects the global EV market to continue to expand in the coming years. The IEA forecast that sales of EVs will reach 20 million in 2025 and 60 million in 2030. We estimate there are currently more than 30 million EVs globally as of late 2023.

This growth will have a major impact on the automotive industry as internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are gradually phased out. Some car manufacturers and governments have already made commitments to phase out the sale of new ICE vehicles in the late 2020s and 2030s.

It is expected new ICE vehicles will likely remain available to purchase into the 2030s, but in order to reduce transport emissions to achieve net zero by 2050, it’s important that the overwhelming majority of new cars sold in the mid-2030s are zero-emission vehicles e.g. EVs.

Even if all new cars sold were EVs from 2035 onwards, it would still likely take 15-20 years for the entire vehicle fleet to be made up of EVs. As such, second-hand ICE vehicles will likely remain available in Australia until around 2050.