Energy Transition

Electric vehicles: an analysis of adoption and the future of oil demand

This article is published in collaboration with
EV adoption will impact oil demand in the future

Oil demand is likely to drop as sales of electric vehicles go up. Image: Juice by Unsplash

Selin Oğuz
Author, Visual Capitalist
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Energy Transition?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Mobility is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Mobility

This article is part of: Centre for Energy and Materials
  • The rapid growth of electric vehicles (EVs) will potentially disrupt the traditional oil market.
  • The data presented indicates a significant decline in oil demand as more countries and consumers embrace EVs.
  • There is a need for policymakers and oil-industry stakeholders to adapt to this transformative shift and explore new opportunities in the evolving energy landscape.
How much oil do electric vehicles save
How much oil is saved by electric vehicles? Image: Visual Capitalist

Electric vehicles: impact on oil consumption

As the world moves towards the electrification of the transportation sector, demand for oil will be replaced by demand for electricity.

To highlight the EV impact on oil consumption, the above infographic shows how much oil has been and will be saved every day between 2015 and 2025 by various types of electric vehicles, according to BloombergNEF.

Have you read?

How much oil is saved by electric vehicles?

A standard combustion engine passenger vehicle in the U.S. uses about 11 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per year. A motorcycle uses 1, a Class 8 truck about 24, and a bus uses more than 258 BOEs per year.

When these vehicles become electrified, the oil their combustion engine counterparts would have used is no longer needed, displacing oil demand with electricity.

Since 2015, two and three-wheeled vehicles, such as mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles, have accounted for most of the oil saved from EVs on a global scale. With a wide adoption in Asia specifically, these vehicles displaced the demand for almost 675,000 barrels of oil per day in 2015. By 2021, this number had quickly grown to 1 million barrels per day.

Let’s take a look at the daily displacement of oil demand by EV segment.

EV adoption
Image: Visual Capitalist

Today, while work is being done in the commercial vehicle segment, very few large trucks on the road are electric—however, this is expected to change by 2025.

Meanwile, electric passenger vehicles have shown the biggest growth in adoption since 2015.

In 2022, the electric car market experienced exponential growth, with sales exceeding 10 million cars. The market is expected to continue its strong growth throughout 2023 and beyond, eventually coming to save a predicted 886,700 barrels of oil per day in 2025.

EV charging: from gas to electric

While the world shifts from fossil fuels to electricity, BloombergNEF predicts that the decline in oil demand does not necessarily equate to a drop in oil prices.

In the event that investments in new supply capacity decrease more rapidly than demand, oil prices could still remain unstable and high.

The shift toward electrification, however, will likely have other implications.

While most of us associate electric vehicles with lower emissions, it’s good to consider that they are only as sustainable as the electricity used to charge them. The shift toward electrification, then, presents an incredible opportunity to meet the growing demand for electricity with clean energy sources, such as wind, solar and nuclear power.

The shift away from fossil fuels in road transport will also require expanded infrastructure. EV charging stations, expanded transmission capacity, and battery storage will likely all be key to supporting the wide-scale transition from gas to electricity.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Accelerating an Equitable Transition: A Data-Driven Approach

Espen Mehlum

July 17, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Sign in
  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum