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Electric Car Boom Seen Triggering Peak Oil Demand in 2030s


Electric cars are coming fast — and that’s not just the opinion of carmakers anymore. Total SA, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, is now saying EVs may constitute almost a third of new-car sales by the end of the next decade.

The surge in battery powered vehicles will cause demand for oil-based fuels to peak in the 2030s, Total Chief Energy Economist Joel Couse said at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s conference in New York on Tuesday. EVs will make up 15 percent to 30 percent of new vehicles by 2030, after which fuel “demand will flatten out,” Couse said. “Maybe even decline.”

Couse’s projection for electric cars is the highest yet by a major oil company and exceeds BNEF’s own forecast, said Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“That’s big,” McKerracher said. “That’s by far the most aggressive we’ve seen by any of the majors.”

Other oil companies have been trimming their long-term forecasts for oil demand. Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said in March that oil demand may peak in the late 2020s. It set up a business unit to identify the clean technologies where it could be most profitable.

Electric cars are beginning to compete with gasoline models on both price and performance. The most expensive part of an electric car is the battery, which can make up half the total cost, according to BNEF. The first electric cars to be competitive on price have been in the luxury class, led by Tesla Inc.’s Model S, which is now the best-selling large luxury car in the U.S.

But battery prices are dropping by about 20 percent a year, and automakers have been spending billions to electrify their fleets. Volkswagen AG is targeting 25 percent of its sales to be electric by 2025. Toyota Motor Corp. plans to phase out fossil fuels altogether by 2050.

Electric cars currently make up about 1 percent of global vehicle sales, but traditional carmakers are preparing for transformation. In 2018, Volkswagen plows into electrification with an Audi SUV and the first high-speed U.S. charging network to rival Tesla’s Superchargers. Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar and Volvo Cars both have promising cars on the way too, and by 2020, the avalanche really begins, with Mercedes-Benz, VW, General Motors Co. and others releasing dozens of new models.

“By 2020 there will be over 120 different models of EV across the spectrum,” said Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “These are great cars. They will make the internal combustion equivalent look old fashioned.”


43 Comments on "Electric Car Boom Seen Triggering Peak Oil Demand in 2030s"

  1. Cloggie on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 8:35 am 

    In the new Dutch government formation talks the following is tentatively agreed upon:

    – No new fossil fueled cars allowed to be sold as per 2025
    – Confirmation of Paris accords and 2050 almost fossil free EU target
    – “Kilometer tax” is coming. The more you drive, the more you pay
    – All coal-fueled power stations will be closed
    – Every year 2 GW new wind capacity will be installed (= 2 million households, Holland has 7.6 million house holds)
    – Creation of 10 billion euro fund to stimulate energy saving and sustainable material usage

  2. Hello on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 8:42 am 

    “Kilometer tax” is coming

    Another useless administrative overhead.
    There’s already fuel tax. The more you drive, the more gas you use, the more you pay. Simple.

    But hey, them Brüssel buraucrats need something to administrate. And adding a GPS module that tells the burocrats where you are at all time is a convinient ‘sideeffect’ of this new taxing scheme.

  3. forbin on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 8:53 am 

    Electric Car Boom Seen Triggered By Peak Oil Supply Possibly by 2030….

    there fixed the title ,

    as for a kilometer tax , well , what else? once fuel is “free” from your Solar panel , they’ve gotta get their money from somewhere ……

    the GPS is touted to be there if you have an accident and that the emergency services can respond quickly

    that they can follow you is a mere detail ( and that the car will be controlled and stopped by the Authorities as they deem fit – you only need worry if your a criminal ….. what could go wrong , eh?)

    Don’t these guys read Sci Fi ? ( now its becoming fact? )


  4. Jan on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 9:57 am 

    1.3% of new cars sold in the U.K. are electric.

    Only 1% of cars sold in China are electric. Last year China added 27,700,000 petrol and diesel burning vehicles to it’s roads.

    The choice is simple £12,000 for a petrol car or £28,000 for the electric equivalent.
    For many people the latter is simply not affordable.

  5. AFDF on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 10:14 am 

    i went with a cordless chainsaw and love it.
    i’m looking for an electric motorcycle.

  6. drwater on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 10:46 am 

    Just replaced the battery in my Prius. $$$ Not sure I want to ever be on the hook for replacing a battery on a completely electric car. Let’s do a little mind game. Let’s say everybody had an electric car and that they had 100 mile ranges and that it took several hours to charge them. The battery also had to be replaced every 10 years for $15000. Then someone invented a “new” gasoline powered car that went 500 miles on a “charge” and took 2 minutes to recharge. What would you buy? I know electric cars will keep getting better and integration into the electric grid may be key. I think pure electric is still in the status and/or short commute status and will be for a while. I could actually see electric personal transportation (scooters, etc.) combined with mass transit really taking off.

  7. Kenz300 on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 11:05 am 

    The future is all electric. No emissions.

    Electric cars, electric trucks, electric motor cycles, electric lawn mowers, electric snow blowers, electric water crafts, electric snowmobiles, electric tools,

    No stopping for gas, no oil changes, Less overall maintenance.

    Batteries are getting better and cheaper every year.

    Climate Change will be the defining issue of our lives.

  8. Cloggie on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 11:14 am 

    i went with a cordless chainsaw and love it.

    i’m looking for an electric motorcycle.

    It’s cordless too!

  9. oldDane on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 11:15 am 

    It is not number of new EVs that matter. It is number miles driven by Evs compared to miles driven by petrol and diesel burning vehicles.
    People who only drive short trips are more likely to by EVs.

  10. GregT on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 11:20 am 

    “The future is all electric. No emissions.”

    Considering the fact that ~70% of global electric power generation is with fossil fuels, and the other 30% all require fossil fuels in their manufacture, delivery, and maintenance, it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why the above statement is so dead wrong.

  11. Jerry McManus on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 12:26 pm 

    The only thing that is going to “boom” about electric cars is the exploding lithium batteries.

    Oh, and all the hollywood celebrities wanting to look glamorous in their insanely chic (and expensive!) EV’s.

    Now, if all you want is cheap and easy basic transpo that is (mostly) free from fossil fuels then you could do a lot worse than a 750W mid-drive kit installed on your favorite mountain bike.

    I can speak from experience, they are a blast!

  12. Davy on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 12:35 pm 

    I think a lot will depend on what shakes out in the next few years with the status quo. Big changes may be near and these are ones we are in denial of. This article is status quo progress and affluence. The article like many today are predictions using lazy mechanical extrapolations. Anyone can do these things with a spread sheet. We can then add in optimistic assumptions and peachy external factors to get projections and forecast that today in our techno optimistic world are progressive and benign.

    How often are there such articles that are negative and bleak? We humans are not prone to looking on the future except in a positive hopeful light. Combine that with marketing and you get material that won’t sell if it is not progressive and optimistic. If one respects the truth then we have to call into question this tendency if we are more interested in the truth than what we want.

    I tend to seek out balance regardless of what I want. I tend to contrast to probe denial. I like to be the devil’s advocate because I don’t care for fluff. It is not that I don’t not want what many of these articles want but that I want the sanity found in the real. I have problems with these articles because I don’t see business as usual ahead. I see at some point noticeable and tangible destructive change. This article is more effort at optimism as the tempo of pessimism increases.

  13. Jerry McManus on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 12:39 pm 


    Well said, thank you.

    Unfortunately, for most folks it is not about the science, rocket or otherwise.

    It is about their cherished belief system and anyone who threatens those beliefs, especially with anything as annoying as facts, will surely be reviled as a loathsome “intellectual” and assaulted with a blizzard of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD).

    It’s all about hearts and minds my friend.

  14. AFDF on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 1:29 pm 

    There are differences between centralized and dispersed pollution. It’s hard to say which is better.

    Labor time and material for a million catalytic converters or a set of pollution control measures at the power plant.

  15. GregT on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 1:48 pm 

    “There are differences between centralized and dispersed pollution. It’s hard to say which is better.”

    Whether the CO2 is centrally produced or if it is dispersed, doesn’t matter. CO2 is accumulative in the environment. We either completely stop adding more, or we don’t. As long as we continue to add more, the problem continues to get worse. “Better” doesn’t solve anything. That would be like someone who’s liver is about to shut down from drinking alcohol, consuming beer instead of whiskey.

  16. Jerry McManus on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 3:08 pm 

    It’s hard to say which is better.

    GregT is right again. There is no “better” pollution.

    How odd that the insatiable desire for grotesquely high standards of living, and by extension planet killing quantities of fossil fuels, is never questioned.

    Not even for a moment.

  17. Anonymouse on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 3:13 pm 

    Kenzbot has been claiming EV are ’emission-free’, since, well, day one. He obviously knows the claim is only true in a very narrow sense of the word, yet keeps making it anyhow.

    Generally, we call people that repeatedly offer up false claims ‘liars’. It is little different than someone claiming nuclear power is ‘green’ , or ‘carbon-free’.

  18. onlooker on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 3:38 pm 

    Kenzbot, thinks we are bots like him and automatically accept what he is saying haha

  19. baha on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 4:07 pm 

    This is defining issue of time. This will have more effect on Peak Oil than anything else. We can ease off the plateau of fall like a rock.

    Collapse will throw a wrench in the works but even that is only temporary. We need a path forward…

  20. Boat on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 4:19 pm 

    I am not sure who argues that the majority of electricity does not come from FF. The trend is towards renewables globally, it’s growth rates accelerating every year. The same is happening with electric cars. The cornerstone of the new future is being built. The discussion is about trends and then future.

  21. Apneaman on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 4:25 pm 

    Won’t they need a reliable grid for all these E-cars?

    No Electricity, No Russians, No Story

    “But, see, that IS the story — the fact that pieces and parts are rotting and falling off our 100-year-old electric grid so often now, and have gone so long without any serious effort to maintain or repair it, that bigger and bigger chunks of the country are losing power more and more often. The United States has more power blackouts than any other industrialized country in the world. What demonstration of that little known fact could be more to the point than the loss of power in three of our largest cities in the same day? But in the absence of a Russian plot, it just wasn’t worth covering.

    As it was not covered, so it is not being discussed, certainly not by politicians and their constituents (by which I mean their actual constituents, not their financial patrons). Among the things not discussed:

    The major and increasing strains being exerted on the grid by climate change, both in terms of hotter summers and colder winters that increase the need for electrical energy for heating and cooling, and in terms of more numerous and savage storms that every few days tear out another stretch of wire.
    The average age of the system’s large transformers (to pick just one component of the grid’s elderly infrastructure) is now north of 40 years, well beyond their design life span. Ever more subject to failure, these monsters take up to two years to build, and nobody in this country builds them.
    Computer cyber attacks, or electromagnetic pulses from enemy action or sun storm, are real and present dangers as well. But we don’t need to even go there to realize that we are about to see cheap and reliable electricity go the way of cheap and plentiful fossil fuels (when they go, which won’t be long). Do you suppose that will be a story on CNN?”

  22. bobinget on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 4:48 pm 

    Yes, I know. A mileage tax is coming for electric cars and soon trucks. For now, because we don’t pollute,
    we get a free ride so to speak.

    As for that ‘reliable grid’,

    Japan is already chaining Leafs and Prius together so to speak. Using these collective batteries to maintain

    I figured out a way to use my EV battery as stand-by power in the event of grid failure. Leave motor on off switch ON. Then, hook-up a pure sine-wave inverter to the 12V battery. The 12V battery will keep on giving because its also drawing from main propulsion storage battery. I use a #10 extension cord to bring power into the house. Cost, under $300 for inverter, $40 for long cord, $100 for 200 AH deep cycle wet cell RV battery.

    The same set-up can be used with solar panels recharging the entire vehicle in daylight, of course.

  23. Davy on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 6:38 pm 

    “because we don’t pollute” What world are you living in bob? You do realize a significant amount of grid power is FF so unless you are charging from a home or special alternative charging stations you are a polluting MF like the rest of us.

  24. dave thompson on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 8:13 pm 

    Unless you are wearing a loincloth and running around with a pointy stick you are a part of industrial civ. Riding a bike or driving an electric car you are still in the midst of industrial civ.

  25. GregT on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 9:21 pm 

    “The trend is towards renewables globally, it’s growth rates accelerating every year. The same is happening with electric cars. The cornerstone of the new future is being built. The discussion is about trends and then future.”

    And exactly where, in your feeble little excuse of a mind, do you believe that “renewables” and electric cars come from Boat?

  26. Boat on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 10:06 pm 


    Another Canadian that has trouble with reading comprehension skills. Refer to the first sentence in my above post. Idiot.

  27. makati1 on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 11:02 pm 

    GregT, some still have a problem grasping the fact that ‘renewables’ ALL depend on FF to exist and when the FF stop so will they. No ‘renewable’ can produce enough NET energy to replace FF PLUS their own maintenance and replacement. None. Only the most stupid and the most in denial cannot see the truth.

  28. Boat on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 11:08 pm 


    Who are these people.

  29. GregT on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 11:20 pm 

    “Who are these people.”


  30. Boat on Wed, 26th Apr 2017 11:41 pm 


    Kind of interesting this made up idea that there are people that think renewables do not use FF in their production, shipping, installation etc.
    I personally have never read any such claim by any human ever. So tell me, wtf is going on in your cult meetings. You guys can do better than that.

  31. GregT on Thu, 27th Apr 2017 12:00 am 

    They aren’t renewable Kevin. Continuing to pretend that they are, is more nonsense.

  32. Boat on Thu, 27th Apr 2017 12:11 am 

    That is the name the world gos by. We’re not in your world. So sorry. You change the world verbiage and I will join with you. I’m flexible.

  33. GregT on Thu, 27th Apr 2017 12:20 am 

    “That is the name the world gos by. We’re not in your world. So sorry.”

    It makes no difference whether the ‘world’ calls them renewable, or not. They aren’t renewable Kevin.

    More nonsense.

  34. GregT on Thu, 27th Apr 2017 1:12 am 

    “So tell me, wtf is going on in your cult meetings.”

    “The word “cult” has always been controversial because it is (in a pejorative sense) considered a subjective term, used as an ad hominem attack against groups with differing doctrines or practices.”

    You can do better than that Kevin.

  35. Davy on Thu, 27th Apr 2017 5:37 am 

    One of the consequences of globalism and modernism and one our board extremist here fail to understand when they promote their agendas of an Asian or European rising phoenix. World trade is now so interconnected in vital trade networks and financialization there cannot be disruptions in a list of systematically integrated TBTF countries. South Korea is one of them and is one reason the Korean problem might finally be solved diplomatically. The Key is with China and its support of NK.

    “A Korean War Could Cut Pipeline of Vital Technologies to the World”

    “The country’s chipmakers produce almost two-thirds of the world’s memory semiconductors, thanks to the dominant role of SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics Co. Samsung also produces chips for customers like Qualcomm Inc., the world’s largest maker of semiconductors for phones. “If Korea is hit by a missile,” Soo Kyoum Kim, a vice president with IDC Research Inc., said in an email, “all electronics production will stop.”

  36. onlooker on Thu, 27th Apr 2017 5:57 am 

    What Davy says is quite accurate. Trade is now vital to modern industrial societies. We can thank our lucky stars or else our world may have already been reduced to rubble. The scary thing as many have pointed out, is as the East rises economically relative to the West falling, will the imperial mindset of the US concede? It is total madness that humanity is still preoccupied with economic standing when the future is giving such strong signals that most if not all industrialism will peter out in the face of ecological constraints. So the entire planet must concede to this growing new reality. Whether our species does or not will not alter this reality. It was always a question of whether we could prepare for it

  37. makati1 on Thu, 27th Apr 2017 6:15 am 

    Onlooker each of us can prepare for it by downsizing our ‘wants’ to our basic ‘needs’. I am doing just that. It is most liberating and stress relieving. Not knowing your situation, can you imagine zero debt, zero reliance on a paycheck, zero need for ‘globalization? I am almost there and the feeling is great.

  38. onlooker on Thu, 27th Apr 2017 6:29 am 

    Congrats Mak, I too am downsizing. I think if we have peace of mind that is the best preparation

  39. makati1 on Thu, 27th Apr 2017 6:39 am 

    Onlooker, I have the most freedom that I have had since I was a kid. Most Americans have no idea what REAL freedom is. If they did, the current government would be all put to the guillotine tomorrow.

    Good luck on your downsizing. It isn’t easy but the reward is worth it.

  40. Cloggie on Thu, 27th Apr 2017 7:33 am 

    “French Oil Giant Total Sees Electric Cars Seriously Cutting Into Oil Demand Soon”

  41. peakyeast on Thu, 27th Apr 2017 8:06 pm 

    “French Oil Giant Total Sees Electric Cars Seriously Cutting Into Oil Demand Soon”

    Any minute now… Any minute… Just as soon as copper, aluminium and Lithium oregrades suddenly and magically rises into the two digit % while transforming a billion ICEs.

  42. Mark Ziegler on Fri, 28th Apr 2017 7:42 am 

    Everyone and their Mother just finished buying a new vehicle. It will be 15 to 20 years before they need to buy another one.

  43. KEnz300 on Sun, 30th Apr 2017 12:48 pm 

    Renewables Providing Most New Power, As Solar, Wind Costs Continue to Fall – Renewable Energy World

    Renewables Provide Majority of New US Generating Capacity through November 2016

    How Exxon & The Koch Brothers Have Funded Climate Denial – YouTube

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