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The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has published a study predicting that in 15 years time, petrol-powered vehicles will continue to dominate the Australian market.

Despite the drive to adopt electric or electric-assisted vehicles to cut emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, the study suggests that in Australia, the number of battery-powered vehicles on local roads will continue to trail petrol cars in 2030.

QUT says the study, carried out in partnership with the AutoCRC and the Malaysia Automotive Institute, was undertaken to improve the collective understanding of changes unfolding in the vehicle and mobility marketplace throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and to interpret these changes and how it will affect the future of transportation in this part of the world.

According to associate professor Robert Perrons, lead researcher of the study, petrol power is expected to maintain its position as most popular power source in 2030, with a market share of 34.9 per cent.

Perrons said that after petrol vehicles, hybrid technology would see the largest growth, increasing market share by almost eight times its current stake, overtaking diesel for second place.

“The big change will be the prevalence of hybrid vehicles, which experts forecast will increase from 3.8 per cent of the market share to 24.2 per cent,” he said.

Although petrol is expected to hold its lead, battery-powered technology is still forecast to see big growth, according to Perrons: “Coming in third place will be battery power, which increases from 0.3 per cent of the market in 2016 to 15.9 per cent in 2030”.

Volkswagen recently announced its plans to introduce 30 new electric and electrically-assisted models by 2025, predicting that battery-powered vehicles will account for one quarter of all passenger car sales globally in a decade’s time.

Meanwhile, sales of diesel vehicles are likely to continue falling, with the study predicting that it will cede much of its market share to hybrid and battery-based vehicle technologies, dropping to 15.2 per cent in 2030.

One brand that has already predicted the demise of the diesel engine is Haval, which recently announced it would not offer diesel power in the future, instead pursuing more efficient petrol engines and electrification.

Other predictions made by the study include the future costs of different models, with hybrids and battery-electric vehicles expected to become more affordable, while prices of conventional petrol, diesel and LPG models likely to remain constant.

“Battery, hybrid and biofuel vehicles [are] expected to see a price decrease of between 11 and 25 per cent compared to 2016 prices,” said Perrons.

“The other good news is that Australian experts predict that a rise in efficiency will be seen across all vehicle fuel types, most notably in the battery electric-powered vehicles, which are estimated to see efficiency gains of 51 per cent.”

Beyond Australian borders, the study found that similar trends would echo through the Asia-Pacific region, predicting that hybrids will see significant gains in these markets.

“The increase in reliance on greener fuels is similarly reflected in the Asia-Pacific region with Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia also tipped to see a significant increase in hybrid-powered vehicles,” said Perrons.

“Diesel vehicles are predicted to maintain a dominant market share in Thailand [over] the next few years, but hybrid battery-based technologies are expected to make significant inroads into the local market by 2030.”

What do you think the Australian vehicle market will look like in 2030? Let us know in the comments below

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