BPs annual energy outlook report includes long-term forecasts for the transport sector

BP's annual energy outlook report includes long-term forecasts for the transport sector

In its latest projections of long-term global energy trends, oil company BP forecasts that electric cars will form around 15% of the global car parc in 2040.

However, because of their higher intensity of use, BP forecasts they will account for around 30% of total passenger vehicle kilometres.

In BP's projections, overall global transport energy demand grows by only 25% despite total demand for transportation more than doubling, reflecting accelerating gains in vehicle efficiency. The transport sector continues to be dominated by oil (around 85% in 2040), despite increasing penetration of alternative fuels – particularly natural gas and electricity.

In BP's 'evolving transition scenario', the share of EVs in the global car parc reaches around 15% by 2040 – more than 300 million cars in a car parc of almost 2 billion. However, the share of passenger car kilometres powered by electricity, which also takes account of the intensity with which electric cars are used, is over 30%.

BP says the interaction of fully-autonomous cars with shared mobility has the potential to substantially boost the intensity with which electric cars are driven.

It also says a key uncertainty in the period to 2040 is the speed with which sales of electric cars increases. To gauge the significance of this uncertainty, BP also considers a scenario in which there is a worldwide ban on the sales of cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) from 2040. This scenario reduces liquid fuel demand by around 10 million barrels a day relative to the evolving transition scenario but, even so, the level of oil demand in 2040 in the 'ICE ban' scenario is higher than in 2016.

"The suggestion that rapid growth in electric cars will cause oil demand to collapse just isn't supported by the basic numbers – even with really rapid growth," says Spencer Dale, BP group chief economist. "Even in the scenario where we see an ICE ban and very high efficiency standards, oil demand is still higher in 2040 than it is today."

The projections are contained in the transport sector analysis within BP's 2018 Energy Outlook report.

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