Has Worldwide Gasoline Demand Peaked?
March 22, 2021
The pandemic upended the world’s fuel economy. With everyone stuck at home, demand for gasoline cratered, and now one energy group is predicting that it will not return to pre-pandemic levels.
The International Energy Agency released its closely watched five-year forecast for gasoline, noting that demand peaked in 2019. That year saw 26.6 million barrels per day, before demand fell to 23.7 million per day in 2020. The IEA predicts a rebound of 25.4 million per day in 2021, then yearly demand plateauing at 25.9 million barrels per day every year beyond that.
The watchdog group attributed the waning demand to the accelerating shift to electric vehicles and increasing fuel efficiency from gasoline-powered vehicles. They expect this shift will more than outweigh the rising demand for gasoline from developing nations. They anticipate 60 million electric vehicles to be on the roads by 2026, up from 7.2 million in 2019.