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Signs of peak in oil demand as EVs and renewables surge

Tue 17 October 2017 | Back to news list

Leading oil analysts Wood Mackenzie have forecast that world petrol demand will peak in little over a decade as a result of the rise in electric vehicles and more efficient engines. Meanwhile The Times reports that figures released by the AA show that UK petrol and diesel demand fell in the first 8 months of 2017, compared with the same period last year, despite an increase in traffic.

Wood Mackenzie says it expects the take-up of electric vehicles to cut gasoline demand significantly, particularly beyond 2025 as battery-powered cars go mainstream.

Petrol and diesel demand comprises well over half - about two-thirds - of all oil consumed, so declines in consumption of these products would signal that 'peak oil demand' is approaching. The growth in renewable energy generation and introduction of new fuels as well as greater efficiencies in aviation and shipping are also threatening to limit demand for oil products used outside of road transport.

Wood Mackenzie's report says that regulations on car makers to produce models that run further on the same amount of oil will lead to a global gasoline demand peak before 2030.

A raft of new national and local government mandates on the use of vehicles with conventional internal combustion engines (see related story) are all pulling in the same direction.

The Guardian reports that Alan Gelder, a senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said the ripples of gasoline’s plateau would be felt much earlier, as oil companies put off investment in refineries and the number of petrol stations is reduced.

“We are becoming increasingly efficient as we use our energy. So as economies grow we are less reliant on oil, so the significance of oil in the global economy should decline over time.” 



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