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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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EVs Won’t Stifle Oil Demand Anytime Soon


There will be 280 million EVs on the roads in 2040, up from 2 million today—but even this increase won’t be able to stifle crude oil demand, the International Energy Agency says. This increase will come from government policies aimed at tackling climate change and from the industry’s apparent determination to go electric.

Even so, the IEA said, global oil demand will continue growing in tune with supply, to hit 105 million bpd in 2040, driven by petrochemicals and fuel for trucks, ships, and aircraft. The IEA notes that although current fuel efficiency policies cover about 80 percent of the global passenger sales today, it only covers half of truck sales.

The IEA, however, does not mention electric trucks in its World Energy Outlook. Daimler earlier this year showcased the world’s first fully electric truck. Tesla will unveil its own e-truck, the Semi, on Thursday, and Elon Musk promises it is “unreal.”

Even if it is not exactly unreal, Tesla’s semi and the Daimler truck can potentially disrupt a market worth tens of billions of dollars globally. There are challenges, notably range and cost, but electric trucks are an emerging niche that should be taken into account in long-term forecasts. UPS, for example, recently said it will be converting a fleet of 1,500 diesel-fueled delivery trucks into all-electric vehicles. It will hardly be the first and last one to consider the conversion. Related: The War That Would Transform Oil Markets

The IEA, however, is firm: it considers a low-oil-price scenario, in which there are 900 million electric cars on the roads by 2040. In this scenario, though, oil prices are low because of strong production growth in the United States. This production growth would keep prices in the US$50-70 per/barrel range, which will only serve to keep demand for oil steady.

The main drivers behind this growth will be India, followed by China, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, with South America and Eurasia trailing the rest. Meanwhile, oil demand in Europe, the U.S., and Japan will fall, though by rates markedly smaller than the demand growth rates in India and China.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Oilracle on November 14 2017 said:
    ---There will be 280 million EVs on the roads in 2040---

    This could happen only if new coal power plants are built and generate, as they do now, $0.05 kWh electricity for them...
  • Ron Rogers on November 14 2017 said:
    Someone is going to need to produce 1 million cars a month in order for us to have 280 million EVs by the year 2040. Tesla produced 26000 last year, a little slow at this point.
  • snoopyloopy on November 14 2017 said:
    Any study that doesn't even mention electric trucks is worthless. Trucking will electrify even faster than the general automotive fleet since fleet managers will see the massive fuel savings and run to them. Many will undoubtedly also have some autonomous capabilities built in, furthering the savings. How does one compete when the competition has cut operating costs 70%, even if they had to pay 30% more for the trucks itself?

    @Oilracle: Fortunately, bids for solar are offering prices at under $0.03/kWh and without the significant logistical investment necessary to support a coal plant.
  • EV Owner on November 15 2017 said:
    I beg to disagree with "Oilracle". Electric vehicles certainly do use electricity made from coal, and other fuels, today, but with a little electric utility innovation, it may be possible to encourage charging when wind power is plentiful or when solar power is plentiful. This would fall under the heading of "Demand Management". EV users could benefit from a yet-to-be-built electric spot markets. Almost every EV has mobile 3G or 4G radios built into the electronics. Manufacturer networks like GM's OnStar can act as gateways for spot market mechanisms. Lastly most EV charging happens at night, and there is already a great amount of excess capacity between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

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