Ever since the first Model T Ford rolled off the production line in 1908, cars and oil have shared a relationship that has transformed the world. But the IEA said oil consumption in cars will hit a ceiling by the middle of the next decade as adoption of electric vehicles becomes more widespread and more fuel-efficient automobiles hit the road, offsetting the increase in numbers of drivers in emerging market countries.
Global oil demand from cars makes up 21.4m barrels a day of the close to 100m b/d consumed in the world. This will rise to just over 23m b/d in the late 2020s, after which car consumption falls back to current levels by 2040, even as global car numbers increase by 80 per cent.
But the bigger impact will come from more economical fuel standards in conventional cars, which will reduce consumption by 9m b/d. “Improvements in fuel efficiency of the global car fleet are the single largest contributor to moderating oil demand growth in cars,” the IEA said.
Biofuels will offset 2.5m b/d of oil demand by 2040, while natural gas usage in cars offsets 1.6m b/d.
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