Report: EV Uptake Will Depend on Policies

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The global share of electric vehicles in new vehicle sales could increase to 25%-30% in 2030 and as high as 90% in 2050 under scenarios in which governments more aggressively tighten regulations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, BP projected in a recent energy report.

Released last month, this year’s BP Energy Outlook covers three scenarios of how the world’s energy use will evolve, described by the company as accelerated, net zero and new momentum.

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The accelerated and net zero scenarios assume substantial changes in energy sources to achieve a substantial reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The new momentum scenario assumes a continuation of the current trajectory of evolution in the global energy system, placing weight both on the marked increase in global ambition for decarbonization and the likelihood that those aims and ambitions will be achieved, and on the manner and speed of progress seen recently.

The outlook suggests that sales of pure battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids – in new vehicle sales could accelerate drastically under the accelerated and net zero scenarios. Under those, the global vehicle parc would have around 2 billion or more electric vehicles by 2050, compared with 7 million in 2019.

Global oil consumption in the accelerated and net zero scenarios falls substantially through the second half of the outlook, decreasing to around 45 million barrels per day by 2050 under the accelerated scenario and to 25 million b/d for the net zero scenario. In the new momentum scenario, oil demand would remain above pre-COVID-19 levels until the mid-2030s, then decline gradually to 80 million b/d by 2050.

“The declines in oil consumption are dominated by the falling us of oil within road transport as the vehicle fleet becomes more efficient and is increasingly electrified,” BP said in the outlook. The decreasing use of oil in road transport accounts for about half of the fall in global oil consumption in the accelerated and net zero scenarios, and almost the entire decline in new momentum.

Under all three scenarios, the pace of decline in oil demand accelerates over the outlook period as the electrification of road vehicles gains pace. The company noted that the projected fall in oil consumption also reflects a more generalized shift away from the use of oil across other sectors of the economy, including its use in industry and buildings.

Reductions in road transport and the power sector decrease U.S. emissions by 28% and 43% by 2030 – compared to 2005 – in the new momentum and accelerated scenarios, the company said. By 2050, U.S. net emissions fall below 0 in the net zero scenario and fall by 90% from 2019 levels in the accelerated scenario and by 50% in the new momentum scenario.

The company noted the outlook was largely prepared before Russia’s military action in Ukraine and does not include analysis of its possible impacts on economic growth or global energy markets.

The BP Energy Outlook 2022 edition is available on BP’s website.