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Electric cars will come of age in 2018 | The Economist

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Electric cars will come of age in 2018. For the first time they will compete in price and performance with petrol and diesel cars. But in the year ahead we will also be confronted with some uncomfortable truths about going electric.

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2018 is set to be the year the world fully embraces the electric car. We’ll see a global tipping point for drivers as electric models start competing with petrol and diesel cars head-to-head.

But we’ll also be confronted with the uncomfortable truth about the impact of going electric.

They"e;ve long been vaunted as the vehicle of the future but from laughing stock in the mid-1980s to rising stock today electric cars have come of age.

Companies are clambering to take the lead with billions in investments and promises to make the switch, but it’s pressure from governments that"e;s driving this push from the industry.

It"e;s an unlikely country that"e;s leading the pack. In 2016 China brought more than 40 percent of the world"e;s electric cars. These fume free cars will make our cities cleaner but uncomfortable truths lurk behind the electric car revolution.

The rise of electric cars will challenge the world"e;s thirst for oil. It could spark a global shift of power from countries that have enjoyed the influence that oil has bought. Beyond oil, attention will turn to lithium electric car batteries which rely on the mineral Cobalt. Two thirds of the world"e;s cobalt comes from one country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Demand for cobalt has doubled over the past five years and is set to triple by 2020.

But the electric car revolution is coming. After 2018 there will be no turning back.

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