The data on the fight against climate change is not reassuring. The state of health of the planet is a subject of concern, which was addressed at the Cop28 climate conference in Dubai. It denounces a certain slowness in the process of freeing ourselves from fossil fuels.
But good news has emerged. Electric cars are growing all over the world, and demand, after a slight decline, seems to be on the rise again.
Sales of electric cars are accelerating
The increase in sales of electric vehicles in recent years has prompted experts to revise their forecasts for when global oil consumption will peak. Government subsidies and technological advances are convincing more and more motorists to switch to zero-emission cars, with positive implications for global transport sector emissions.
An oil well in the United States
The International Energy Agency (IEA), based in Paris and bringing together 29 industrialized countries, predicts that the consumption worldwide of oil will reach its maximum at the end of this decade, i.e., 103 million barrels per day. She decreed this figure after making several adjustments compared to the 2017 forecasts, where the peak date was set at 2040.
“The turnaround lies in public support for the switch to electric cars: it has significantly reduced oil demand from the transport sector, which has been the main driver of growth in global oil demand” – Apostolos Petropoulos, expert with the IEA.
Oil is less and less necessary
Statements from oil giant BP, which anticipated its projections for peak global oil demand, and from the governments of the United States and China, the world’s two largest oil consumers, which lowered their forecasts on domestic consumption. These statements also confirm that electric cars accelerate the reduction in fossil fuel consumption.
According to the IEA, transport is responsible for approximately 60% of global oil demand, with the United States alone accounting for around 10%. Electric vehicles will reduce approximately 5 million barrels per day global oil demand by 2030.
The Atto 3, an electric SUV with which BYD is setting out to conquer foreign markets.
Need for faster growth
Global sales of electric vehicles now represent around 13% of all vehicle sales and are expected to reach 40-45% of the market by the end of the decade. This is due to a mix of increasingly stringent efficiency standards and subsidies introduced by various governments around the world after the 2015 Paris agreement aimed at limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures.
But the IEA also said electric vehicle sales are expected to be even higher, in the order of 70% of the market by 2030, to achieve the objective of the Paris Agreement to limit warming. And this goal is not easy to achieve.
In recent weeks, electric vehicle manufacturers, including General Motors, Ford And Stellantis, have delayed or abandoned plans to ramp up production due to rising labour costs and signs that rising interest rates are slowing growth in the United States. In the long term, however, the drop in battery costs for electric vehicles makes some researchers optimistic.
A solid-state battery from ProLogium
China will lead the transition
According to industry experts, the adoption rate of electric vehicles will largely depend on pricing and the availability of charging stations. China is ahead on both fronts. According to Jato Dynamics in the land of the Dragon, an electric car cost on average 31,165 euros in mid-2023. The cheapest electric vehicle in China costs 8% less than the cheapest gasoline-equivalent car. This is due to massive government subsidies and the easy availability of raw materials essential for the production of battery-powered cars.
Electric vehicles make up about a quarter of China’s market, and the country is expected to lead global growth. In the United States, however, the average price of an electric vehicle is more than $53,000according to the automotive research firm Kelley Blue Book which is about $5,000 more than a gasoline car.
Tesla has just unveiled the Cybertruck: the starting price is set at around 60,000 euros.
The United States also lags behind China in the total number of public charging stations. L’Electrification Institute found that the United States has about 52,000 public charging stations, Europe has about 400,000, and China has about 1.2 million.
- UNITED STATES: 52,000 public charging stations
- Europe: 400,000 public charging stations
- China: 1.2 million charging stations
However, according to the IEA, electric vehicles are expected to account for 50% of new registrations in the United States by 2030 with motorists attracted by improving technology, lower prices and the prospect of avoiding price volatility at the pump.
If the American elections next year may facilitate or hinder change, it seems already underway and destined to bear fruit.