Oil demand is likely to drop as sales of electric vehicles go up.
Image: Juice by Unsplash
- The rapid growth of electric vehicles (EVs) will potentially disrupt the traditional oil market.
- The data presented indicates a significant decline in oil demand as more countries and consumers embrace EVs.
- There is a need for policymakers and oil-industry stakeholders to adapt to this transformative shift and explore new opportunities in the evolving energy landscape.
How much oil is saved by electric vehicles? Image: Visual Capitalist
Electric vehicles: impact on oil consumption
As the world moves towards the electrification of the transportation sector, demand for oil will be replaced by demand for electricity.
To highlight the EV impact on oil consumption, the above infographic shows how much oil has been and will be saved every day between 2015 and 2025 by various types of electric vehicles, according to BloombergNEF.
How much oil is saved by electric vehicles?
A standard combustion engine passenger vehicle in the U.S. uses about 11 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per year. A motorcycle uses 1, a Class 8 truck about 24, and a bus uses more than 258 BOEs per year.
When these vehicles become electrified, the oil their combustion engine counterparts would have used is no longer needed, displacing oil demand with electricity.
Since 2015, two and three-wheeled vehicles, such as mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles, have accounted for most of the oil saved from EVs on a global scale. With a wide adoption in Asia specifically, these vehicles displaced the demand for almost 675,000 barrels of oil per day in 2015. By 2021, this number had quickly grown to 1 million barrels per day.
Let’s take a look at the daily displacement of oil demand by EV segment.
Image: Visual Capitalist
Today, while work is being done in the commercial vehicle segment, very few large trucks on the road are electric—however, this is expected to change by 2025.
In 2022, the electric car market experienced exponential growth, with sales exceeding 10 million cars. The market is expected to continue its strong growth throughout 2023 and beyond, eventually coming to save a predicted 886,700 barrels of oil per day in 2025.
EV charging: from gas to electric
While the world shifts from fossil fuels to electricity, BloombergNEF predicts that the decline in oil demand does not necessarily equate to a drop in oil prices.
In the event that investments in new supply capacity decrease more rapidly than demand, oil prices could still remain unstable and high.
The shift toward electrification, however, will likely have other implications.
While most of us associate electric vehicles with lower emissions, it’s good to consider that they are only as sustainable as the electricity used to charge them. The shift toward electrification, then, presents an incredible opportunity to meet the growing demand for electricity with clean energy sources, such as wind, solar and nuclear power.
The shift away from fossil fuels in road transport will also require expanded infrastructure. EV charging stations, expanded transmission capacity, and battery storage will likely all be key to supporting the wide-scale transition from gas to electricity.
Posted 08 August 2023