Electric and hybrid cars are the future of driving, with countries intensifying efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. We look at the progress made.
Singapore launched its first large-scale electric car sharing programme last month with 80 battery-powered hatchbacks and 32 charging stations. It aims to have 1,000 electric cars and 500 charging locations by 2020.
For now, roads are dominated by fossil-fuel vehicles. As of last July, there were only 132 plug-in petrol-electric hybrids and 12 pure electric vehicles out of 606,000 cars in Singapore, says the Land Transport Authority.
China, which has a nagging pollution problem, is the world leader in sales of new-energy vehicles - electric, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell. Sales of such vehicles jumped 51.4 per cent in the 11 months to November and are expected to top one million units this year.
Beijing has set a target of seven million vehicles by 2025 and is doling out subsidies.
Homegrown models are riding the wave. ES8, made by start-up NIO can run up to 500km on a single charge. It costs 448,000 yuan (S$93,400) - a little more than half the 836,000 yuan that Tesla's Model X SUV costs in China.
Paris is home to Autolib, the world's largest electric car-sharing scheme with more than 4,000 vehicles. The company behind Autolib supplied the charging infrastructure and cars of Singapore's just-launched scheme.
The administration of President Emmanuel Macron, who has vowed to "make the planet great again", says sales of all petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned by 2040. That could prove ambitious as such vehicles represented 95.2 per cent of French new car fleets in the first half of last year, while electric and hybrid vehicles accounted for less than 5 per cent.
Oil-rich Norway boasts the world's highest rate of battery-vehicle ownership, thanks to generous tax breaks and subsidies. It has the highest per capita number of electric vehicles, with 216 per 10,000 population.
About 35 per cent of new cars are sold with a plug, says a Financial Times report last June, and Norway has a target of zero emissions for all new cars by 2025.
Lee Seok Hwai