ExxonMobil: diesel will surpass gasoline as the number one global transportation fuel by 2020
9 March 2013
|Transportation fuel mix in millions of oil-equivalent barrels through 2020. Source: ExxonMobil Outlook. Click to enlarge.|
Diesel will surpass gasoline as the number one transportation fuel worldwide by 2020 and continue to increase its share through 2040, according to ExxonMobil’s recently published Outlook For Energy: A View To 2040. The relative shift away from motor gasoline to diesel is driven by improving light-duty vehicle fuel economy and the growth in commercial transportation activity. Diesel demand accounts for 70% of the growth in demand for all transportation fuels through the forecast period to 2040.
Fuel demand for heavy-duty vehicles, the largest subsector, sees the greatest growth, up 65%, and accounts for 40% of all transportation demand by 2040. About 80% of the growth in commercial transport demand will come from developing nations, according to the forecast. Fuel for aviation and marine will increase about 75% and 90%, respectively, over the Outlook period, with their combined share growing from about 20% today to more than 25% by 2040.
|Mix of the global vehicle fleet. Source: ExxonMobil Outlook. Click to enlarge.|
By contrast, gasoline demand will be relatively flat, despite the doubling of the global personal vehicle fleet over the Outlook period from more than 800 million vehicles to more than 1.6 billion. As more energy-efficient vehicle options become available, conventional gasoline and diesel engine vehicles will make up a smaller share of the fleet over time, down to around 50% in 2040.
Around 2025, ExxonMobil expects hybrid vehicles will be less expensive and their share of sales will expand quickly, adding more efficiency to the fleet. Full hybrid vehicles will make up about 40% of the fleet in 2040—more than 50% of new car sales in 2040. In the latter part of the Outlook, electric and plug-in hybrids (utilizing a gasoline engine and battery-powered motor) will begin to play a more significant role, making up around 10% of new car sales in 2040, or about 5% of the fleet.
ExxonMobil forecasts that oil will remain the predominant fuel source for transportation through 2040, given availability of supplies and current economic and practical advantages over alternatives. With improvements in technology continuing to improve the fuel economy of conventional vehicles, alternatives such as plug-in hybrids or electric cars will need to make substantial progress to overcome their hurdles, including a $10,000 to $15,000 higher upfront cost plus range and functional limitations for drivers, according to the forecast.
|Sources for fuel economy gains in light-duty vehicles. Source: ExxonMobil Outlook. Click to enlarge.|
By 2040, new cars globally will average around 47 mpg US (5.0 l/100km) by 2040, compared to about 27 mpg US (8.7 l/100km) today. Engine and transmission improvements, along with lighter body nd accessory parts, are expected to improve efficiency of new cars by around 9 mpg. Overall efficiency will be increased through the introduction of smaller vehicle models and engines to meet government fuel economy mandates as well as increased penetration of hybrids.
The push-pull between a growing vehicle fleet and improving vehicle efficiency results in effectively flattening energy demand for personal vehicles in the Outlook, although the trends vary significantly by region. Declines of about 30% in the OECD are offset by the doubling of energy demand for personal vehicles in the non-OECD.
Other transportation-related conclusions from the forecast include:
The strongest growth in demand is in Asia-Pacific. The region remains the largest consumer of heavy duty vehicle energy and sees a significant increase in personal vehicle ownership—around 500 million vehicles from 2010 to 2040. By about 2015, transportation demand in Asia Pacific will exceed that of North America. Pacific.
In Asia Pacific, total transportation demand doubles with almost 60% of the growth occurring in the light-duty and heavy-duty vehicle sectors. India’s energy transportation demand more than triples, and personal vehicle demand accounts for more than 40% of this growth.
Together, Asia Pacific and North America constitue about 60% of global transportation demand in 2040. On a country basis, the United States will remain the largest transportation demand center, followed by China.
Fuel demand for personal vehicles—cars, SUVs and small pickup trucks—plateaus fairly soon and begins a gradual decline as consumers turn to smaller, lighter vehicles and technologies improve fuel efficiency.
ExxonMobil sees continued progress in fuel efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles. In non-OECD countries, heavy duty vehicle intensity—the amount of energy used per dollar of GDP—is expected to decline by 2% per year on average through 2040 as advances in technology and increased truck size create economies of scale. The OECD’s potential for future intensity improvements depend more on technological and logistical advances. In spite of issues such as increased traffic congestion, ExxonMobil sees a decline in OECD heavy-duty intensity of around 1% per year.
Although natural gas will play a greater role as a transportation fuel by 2040, it remains only a small share of the global transportation fuel mix, at 4% by 2040, up from today’s 1%.
The two greatest transportation markets for natural gas are heavy duty and marine. Favorable opportunities may exist for the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for heavy duty trucks, particularly along high-traffic corridors and including both long-haul and specific services (e.g., buses, waste management and utility vehicles).
Demand for natural gas for heavy-duty vehicles increases by 8 billion cubic feet per day (BCFD) by 2040. This growth assumes that more than 20% of new heavy-duty vehicle sales will be either compressed natural gas (CNG) or LNG. However, even with this significant increase, gas represents about 6% of total heavy duty vehicle demand by 2040.
ExxonMobil sees a shift toward natural gas in the marine sector, where it accounts for 8% of total demand by 2040.
The greatest growth in natural gas as a transportation fuel is in Asia Pacific and North America. By 2040, Asia Pacific will account for 50% of the demand for natural gas in transportation.
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