According to an analysis by the giant Swiss investment firm UBS, the “consumer cost of ownership” of electric cars will achieve cost parity with petrol and diesel cars in 2018, beginning in Europe.

This doesn’t mean that the cost to buy a new electric car will be the same as a petrol car, but that, without any government incentives, the total cost of owning either type of vehicle, when fuel costs, maintenance costs and other expenses are taken into account, will be similar.

Of course, the cost of electric vehicles will continue to fall after that, so that we are about to reach an inflection point after which electric car will be the cheaper option. UBS expects that the will lead to electric vehicle sales reaching 14% of the global market and 30% of the European market by 2025.

UBS also expects the rise of electric vehicles to massively disrupt the parts and aftermarket sector because of the much simpler drivetrains of electric vehicles, which have far fewer parts to break or wear out. UBS predicts that the spare parts business will  shrink by 60% over the coming decades.

As well as cost, the take up of electric vehicles is being held back by lack of charging infrastructure.

A study by the U.S. National Science Foundation concluded that, had there been 60,000 more charging stations in the U.S., electric vehicle sales would have been five times higher.

With the world’s most popular electric car, the Renault Zoe, having been launched in Europe in 2008 but still not available in Australia, how far behind are we? And what is happening to enable us to catch up?

Some of the answers may emerge at the upcoming EV Workshop which will be part of the Renewable Cities Forum at the new Sydney International Convention Centre on June 14 and 15. Electric vehicle companies, such as Tesla, Carbridge, SPB batteries and the autonomous pod company, RDM Group will setting out what they see as the path forward for electric vehicles in Australia.