Home Sciences Electric vehicles managed to reduce global oil demand by 3.3% in 2021

Electric vehicles managed to reduce global oil demand by 3.3% in 2021


Although very slowly (everything is going too slowly in terms of decarbonisation), the sale of electric vehicles begins to dig the grave of hydrocarbons on the planet. A reduction in the demand for barrels of oil is already noticeable directly attributed to the substitution of thermal engine vehicles for others with electric propulsion. The specific number is 3.3% of demand in 2021. That was the percentage by which world oil demand contracted last year due to this reason.

According to data from Bloomberg NEF collected by the portal forococheselectricos.com, during the past year the consumption of 1.5 million barrels of oil per day was avoidedwhich represents the aforementioned 3.3% drop compared to the previous year.

For comparison, this figure is equivalent to a fifth of Russia’s oil exports before the Ukraine war. This is a modest percentage, but undoubtedly significant, and from now on it can only grow.

One fact, however, draws attention. Contrary to what might be supposed, the electric vehicles responsible for this reduction in oil consumption are not cars, but especially mopeds, motorcycles and tricycleswhich in this segment have led to a 67% decrease in demand in 2021.

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How is that possible? The explanation comes from Asiain whose cities and towns two-wheelers are ubiquitous and where a rapid electric transformation in this type of mobility is taking place.

This graph allows us to observe how the demand for oil due to electric propulsion vehicles is decreasing. It shows how electric buses are saving the planet more millions of barrels of oil (16% in 2021) than cars, despite the fact that cars are much more numerous than coaches. However, this is because the consumption of a bus is much higher than that of a conventional car.

Bloomberg points out that if the demand for oil in the world has not fallen more in recent years, it is due to the trend of SUVs (gasoline), which consume more fuel than passenger cars.

Another of the novelties that 2021 brought in this matter is that, for the first time, the impact of electric commercial vehicles in reducing oil demand was perceptible, with 4%.

Compared to the 1.5 million barrels per day that were avoided in 2021, Bloomberg NEF forecasts that for within eight years the demand will have already been reduced by 7 million barrels, which would be equivalent to the total of Russian oil exports before the war. And, following the same trend, by 2035 the reduction would have reached 16 million, which would mean the theoretical elimination of the demand for oil. However, it is difficult to conceive that by then there will be no vehicles powered by hydrocarbons on the planet.

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The trend shown by these figures leads us to observe with hope the progress that global land mobility has been experiencing, that has already begun the path towards electrification without the possibility of going back. And on the horizon also appears the hydrogen engine that is taking its first steps in this panorama of decarbonization. The question raised by the experts, once again, is whether this oil “disarmament” will occur quickly enough as the climate emergency situation on the planet demands.

Reference article: https://forococheselectricos.com/2022/05/si-los-vehiculos-electricos-retuveron-la-demanda-de-petroleo-en-un-33-en-2021.html


Environment section contact: crisisclimatica@prensaiberica.es

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