Nearly 70% of U.S. oil consumption is for transportation and transportation accounts for 28% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, technology improvements in transportation that can reduce emissions are a key element of combating climate change. The highest impact strategy is the electrification of the transportation sector, and it is definitely accelerating.
Demand for electric vehicles is growing for multiple reasons. These include long-term cost savings, tax incentives, declining battery costs, and greater environmental awareness. This year, about 2.7 percent of global passenger vehicle sales will be for electric vehicles. It is still a fairly small number, but that number is growing rapidly. It is expected to be 10% in 2025, 28% in 2030, and more than half of all vehicle sales by 2040. By that year, more than 30% of passenger vehicles on the road worldwide will be electric. The numbers for electric buses, delivery vans and trucks, mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles are expected to be even higher.
The environmental impact of electrification will be significant in reducing carbon emissions and pollution in general. Electric vehicles already reduce oil demand by a million barrels a day. By the year 2040, they will displace nearly 18 million barrels of oil a day and reduce CO2 emissions by 2.5 billion tons per year.
Electric cars still face challenges. They are still more expensive than gas-powered cars, but their cost-benefit analysis is changing rapidly as technology improvements and volume efficiencies drive down the cost of battery packs. Analysts predict that electric vehicles will achieve price parity with internal combustion vehicles in as soon as two years but in any case within the next ten years.
Photo, posted May 7, 2020, courtesy of Mark Vletter via Flickr.