One-third of all new cars sold globally will be at least partially electrified by the end of this decade due to a shift in consumer sentiment, Autocar reports. The peak of purely internal combustion – petrol and diesel – vehicles is likely to have arrived during the Covid-19 pandemic, industry insights and audit firm Deloitte has found. The firm estimates 31.1 million electrified vehicles will be sold each year by 2030.

Deloitte expects the global car market not to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, according to the magazine, however sales of electrified vehicles are predicted to reach 2.5 million units this year. With a compound annual growth rate of 29% applied, this figure should grow to 11.2 million in 2025 and onwards to 31.1 million by 2030, it said. At this point, pure EVs will account for 81% of all electrified vehicles sold.

The disparity between Deloitte’s 2019 forecast and this latest prediction has been attributed to various factors driving growth, as well as the gradual dissipation of obstacles to electric vehicle ownership such as the affordability of EVs, said the report.

“The price premium attached to many electric vehicles restricted some early adopters but, as the cost of EVs have converged with petrol and diesel equivalents, the pool of prospective buyers is set to increase. A wider range of new EVs, combined with a growing secondhand market, means electric vehicles are becoming a more viable option for many,” said Deloitte head of electric vehicles Jamie Hamilton.

Further encouraging factors towards EV usage include government-backed financial incentives, stricter emissions regulations for internal combustion-powered vehicles and a growing range of EVs available on the market, across various segments such as SUVs, sedans, sports cars and hatchbacks.

That said, would-be buyers of electric vehicles are still put off by the relatively low battery ranges compared to fuel ranges of internal combustion-engined vehicles, as well as a perceived lack of charging infrastructure, according to Deloitte. Its survey of UK-based drivers found that half of those surveyed would consider an electric vehicle as their next car, though 33% cited the UK’s still-growing charging infrastructure as their biggest concern.