Electric cars expected to make up one third of world’s cars by 2040, according to IHS Markit

While the number of electric vehicles on roads around the world is still small — one percent of all cars — their sales have increased dramatically in the past six years. This year, sales of electric cars were up more than 1,000 percent since 2010, a trend that Markit’s research found will only increase.

The firm’s research on electric cars is part of an on-going project studying the future of transportation in a world where self-driving and electric cars are becoming more common. In particular, the firm wants determine if the spread of electric cars will herald a new era of vehicles, much as the invention of the internal combustion engine did at the turn of the 20th century.

“The key question is whether we are approaching a transformative shift akin to the first decade of the 20th century, when the internal combustion engine, cheap gasoline, bicycle technology and mass production combined to usher in the automotive age,” said Dr. Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit and chairman of the study, in a statement.