How much (and how soon) will electric vehicles affect oil demand?

Sooner or later, the proliferation of electric vehicles (EVs) is going to cut into global demand for oil, but predictions about the timeline are all over the map.

Above: A look at Carbon Tracker's new interactive tool to help estimate the effect of EVs on oil demand (Source: Charged via Carbon Tracker)

Planners for the oil industry, as well as most auto industry execs (except for a certain California carmaker) tend to envision a gradual, decades-long process. At the other end of the scale, energy guru Tony Seba believes the Oil Age will be winding down by 2030.

A new report from Carbon Tracker examines many of the factors that affect how oil demand might be displaced by EVs, and includes an interactive software tool that allows users to experiment with three key variables to see how different future scenarios could play out.

Above: Carbon Tracker Data Scientist Laurence Watson explains Carbon Tracker's new EV Oil Displacement Tool (Youtube: Carbon Tracker Initiative)

The report found that the size of the global EV fleet is the most significant variable affecting oil demand, although the annual mileage per EV and the improving efficiency of ICE vehicles are also important factors.

Carbon Tracker concludes that EVs could entirely offset annual growth in oil demand as early as 2027, and could bring about the much-anticipated (and much-feared) turning point of peak oil demand by the late 2020s. 


Written by: Charles Morris; This article originally appeared in Charged. Source: Carbon Tracker