Skip to Content

Global Gasoline Demand Could Peak by 2030

October 16, 2017

At least, it could if electric-car adoption plays out the way some experts think it will.

The prognostication comes courtesy of the energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, which has taken a fresh look at the shifting thirst for oil around the globe. Its analysts argue that “technological advances, both in fuel efficiency and the move to hybrid and electric vehicles, look set to disrupt demand” for gas, which they see tailing off from 2030. That’s earlier than some previous predictions, which expected peak demand to occur closer to 2040.

Until recently, Wood Mackenzie’s suggestion would have seemed laughable. There is, however, a growing sense that the next 20 years will see a huge shift toward electrification in cars: the U.K. and France have both decided to outlaw the sale of new internal-combustion cars by 2040, China (the word's largest car market) has implemented its own impressively aggressive anti-internal-combustion rules, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests that electric vehicles could account for as many as half of all new cars sold by 2040.

In other words, the 2030 prediction is a bold one, but that could actually prove to be around the time we tip toward needing less, rather than more, gas to move us all around. Put another way: it's not as implausible as it may first sound.

Deep Dive


Our best illustrations of 2022

Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.

How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier

These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.

The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.