Oil On The Road To Obsolescence

This chart shows projected global number of passenger cars and related oil demand from 2016 to 2040.

According to a new report from OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), the number of passenger cars in the world will almost double by 2040. In 2016, there were an estimated 1.1 billion cars on the planet and in the space of 24 years that figure is expected to rise to 2 billion - driven mainly by increased demand in Asia. 

Despite this jump, the corresponding oil demand is not expected to keep speed. In fact, despite a small increase projected to 2025, the number of barrels needed to fuel the world's cars is due to then start to fall to 2040. Although OECD countries are forecast to have 46 million more cars come 2040, oil demand from these vehicles is going to fall by 4.8 million barrels per day. In contrast, demand in developing countries will increase by 6.5 million. 

Overall though, the vital importance oil has for our personal mobility is gradually driving down the road to obsolescence. Initially due to the increased fuel efficiency of modern cars, the increasing penetration of alternative fuel cars will in the long term be the decisive factor.

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