Electric vehicles reducing oil consumption

Dan Murtaugh March 19, 2019

SINGAPORE (Bloomberg) -- Electric vehicles are taking ever-bigger bites out of global oil demand, but they haven’t yet caught up with the growing size of the pie.

Gasoline and diesel displacement by electric vehicles will grow by 96,000 bpd this year, BloombergNEF said in a report Tuesday. That brings the lost cumulative demand since 2011 at 352,000 bpd, about as much as total consumption by some countries, such as Peru or Portugal. By comparison, total global oil demand growth over the same period rose 12 MMbpd to 100.6 MMbpd, according to the International Energy Agency.

Still, the volume of oil displaced this year is nearly 14 times higher than 2014, according BNEF. And about 2.7 MM electric vehicles will be sold in 2019, increasing the number of such cars on the road by more than 50%, BNEF analysts David Doherty and Daisy Maugouber wrote in the report.

“The impact of passenger EVs and e-buses on global oil consumption is growing rapidly,” they wrote.

By 2040, electric vehicles could displace much as 6.4 MMbpd of oil demand, while fuel efficiency improvements will erase another 7.5 MMbpd, according to BloombergNEF’s May 2018 long-term EV outlook.

More than three-quarters of the displacement so far has come from electric buses, according to Tuesday’s report. About 500 bpd of diesel demand is displaced for every 1,000 electric buses on the road, about 30-times the rate for medium-sized battery electric cars. Most of the roughly 95,000 of such vehicles sold in 2018 were in China.

Morgan Stanley analysts earlier this month predicted that China’s oil demand would peak in 2025 as drivers forgo petroleum-fueled transport for battery-powered vehicles and high-speed rail.

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