Electric Vehicles Could Cut Gasoline Demand By 20% In Next 20 Years

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

Part of the appeal of driving around town in an electric vehicle is that it doesn’t need gasoline, and thus, is better for the environment. But there’s one thing all of these vehicles aren’t good for: gasoline demand. 

A new report from energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie estimates that the move to electric vehicles will reduce the demand for gasoline in the U.S. by between 5% and 20% in the next 20 years, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The reduction in demand could translate in a drop by as much as two million barrels a day in the U.S. from the current rate of nine million barrels used in a day.

The report is based on the idea that electric vehicles will become more widely used in coming years, thanks to the efforts by companies like Tesla, General Motors, Toyota, and other carmakers.

Despite the estimates of a rather large drop in gasoline demand, analysts say such a change likely won’t happen within the next 20 years.

“It will still take some time,” Spencer Dale, the chief economist of energy company BP PLC, said last week. “Electric vehicles will happen. It is a sort of when, not if, story.”

Currently, the WSJ reports, electric cars make up only 1% of total vehicle sales in the U.S.

Still, that figure could be significantly boosted with the entrance of Tesla’s more affordable Model 3, which is scheduled to hit the road sometime next year.

Although the push for electric cars means less gas will be used, Wood Mackenzie cautions that fossil-fuel won’t exactly be hurting, as the demand for natural-gas would likely go up.

U.S. Gasoline Demand Is Likely to Slide [The Wall Street Journal]