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Forecast bright for electric vehicles

The chief executive of a US chamber for energy claims the next petrol powered car people buy may be their last.

General James Jones of the US Chamber Institute for 21st Century Energy made the forecast, according to The Telegraph newspaper.

It appears Jones is not alone as some forecasters predict hybrid electric and electric vehicles will represent 50% of Western European car sales by 2015 and up to 65% by 2020.

Deutsche Bank analysts believe this potential trend means makers of lithium-ion batteries could benefit from it more than motor manufacturers.

They believe the global market for large-format lithium-ion batteries could grow from $7 billion to $15 billion by 2015, while the automotive market for the batteries could reach $30 to $40 billion by 2020.

However this will need to rise from a low base, as only 650,000 vehicles with hybrid drives will be registered worldwide this year.

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