2022 Road Fuel Outlook

  • The demand for mobility has flourished over the last 100 years, with a burgeoning population and rising prosperity. Oil-derived fuels have powered this growth and shaped the way people and goods move. The next 30 years will see this upended as new drivetrains, shared mobility and, eventually, autonomous vehicles reshape road transport’s reliance on oil. Road fuel demand is set peak in 2027 in BNEF’s Economic Transition Scenario (ETS), where changes are driven by techno-economic trends and market forces, and no new policies are assumed to be enacted.

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Delayed impact: Road fuel demand peaks in five years, however, the impact of advancements is not materially felt until almost a decade later. Efficiency improvements disrupt growth this side of 2030, before alternative drivetrains and autonomous vehicles cut into road fuel use in the longer term.

Different outcomes: Fuel producers with exposure to markets like the US or Europe are poised to see sales of diesel and gasoline decline significantly from current levels over the next decade. On the other side of the world, in markets like India and China, demand growth that ‘could have been’ fails to materialize.

Booming freight movements are set to support commercial truck fuel consumption through to the 2030s. However, as more corporates with large fleets, like DHL, Ikea and Amazon, pledge to become net-zero emitters, sales of electric light trucks in particular take off.

Avoided demand: Over 31 million barrels per day of road fuel demand is avoided by 2050 due to the penetration of zero tailpipe emission vehicles like EVs and fuel cell vehicles.

Minimum mark: Despite almost 2.4 billion electric or fuel cell passenger vehicles, commercial trucks, two and three wheeled vehicles driving on the world’s roads in 2050, road fuel use is set to remain above 20 million barrels per day.

Economics alone do not get the world close to net zero. In 2037, fossil-derived fuel demand will remain at levels registered in 2010. By 2041 that declines to volumes last seen in 2000.

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About BloombergNEF

BloombergNEF (BNEF) is a strategic research provider covering global commodity markets and the disruptive technologies driving the transition to a low-carbon economy. Our expert coverage assesses pathways for the power, transport, industry, buildings and agriculture sectors to adapt to the energy transition. We help commodity trading, corporate strategy, finance and policy professionals navigate change and generate opportunities.
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