New Report Predicts World Gasoline Demand Will Peak In 13 Years

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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The world’s demand for gasoline could peak in the next thirteen years as engines and electric cars become more efficient, according to a new report.

“On a global basis, gasoline demand peaks by 2030,” Wood Mackenzie energy analysts wrote in a report on future oil demand.

“It’s a double whammy for gasoline: in the next decade it’s a fuel efficiency story,” analysts wrote. “Post-2025, it’s an [electric vehicle] story, as the ramp up in electric vehicle penetration displaces significant volumes of gasoline demand.”

Don’t mistake “peak gas” for “peak oil.” Global oil demand is expected to continue to grow beyond 2030, driven largely by growing economies in Asia. China and India are expected to see a huge growth in demand for transportation fuels.

That’s in line with Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections of global petroleum and liquid fuel demand increasing, largely from growth in Asia.

“Non-OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries, where strong economic and population growth increase the demand for liquid fuels by 39%,” EIA projects, but “OECD consumption of liquid fuels decreases by 3%.”

For years, environmentalists warned the world’s supply of oil would “peak” because humans were extracting too much too fast. Those predictions, so far, have not come true as technology improvements increased our access to oil reserves.

The world is awash in oil, but experts now wonder if producers could have trouble selling all their supplies in the coming decades.

“The impact of peak gasoline on overall oil demand into transport is tempered by increasing demand for road freight and air travel,” Wood Mackenzie analysts wrote.

“So, oil demand is not expected to peak but it won’t grow at the pace the industry has seen over the past 20 years,” reads the report. “The oil industry is right to be concerned and should start to plan for the future.”

There are probably a few major drivers of this demand, but Wood Mackenzie specifically singles out the growth in electric vehicles.

We often hear about the potential for electric cars, and many countries, including the U.S., have at one point or another pushed policies to get more Teslas, Volts and Priuses on the road.

The Netherlands and France have plans to ban petroleum-powered cars by 2030 and 2040, respectively. France’s announcement came the day after automaker Volvo committed to only building electric and hybrid vehicles after 2019.

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