OPEC Says Oil Demand Could Peak In Late 2030s Due To EVs

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, otherwise known as OPEC, says that rising sales for electric cars might cause global oil demand to peak and flatten out by the year 2040.

Apparently, if a quarter of the world's cars will run on battery power alone, global oil demand could plateau at roughly 109 million barrels per day in the second half of the 2030s, reports Bloomberg.

Yet, OPEC still expects oil consumption to increase in the following decades as electric cars aren't likely to dethrone their internal combustion counterparts at such a rapid rate, unless a faster-growth scenario occurs.

"It is highly unlikely that electric vehicles will penetrate the passenger car segment with this strength in less than 24 years," stated the recently published report. "Nevertheless, several countries have publicly stated their intention to achieve an even higher share of electric vehicles in new sales."

Oil companies are paying increased attention to markets such as France, the UK and even China, as plans to ban the sale of fossil-fuel burning cars in the next couple of decades have already been announced. OPEC sees only 8% of the global light vehicle fleet running on batteries by 2040, with little impact on oil use, whereas Bloomberg New Energy Finance thinks that a third of cars will be fully-electric by then.

Another tech-movement that could affect oil demand is the mass adoption of car-sharing services, such as those offered by Uber and Lyft. In America, car sharing and ride hailing services could accelerate the decline in oil demand all the way to a 7% drop by the year 2040.

Meanwhile in China, these services could shrink the car fleet and cause oil demand to peak in 2035, before dropping marginally in the next five years.

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