Annual US fuel demand could fall 20% if EV sales surge

A more likely scenario, though, is a 5% drop.

Could "35 in '35" become a rallying cry for green-vehicle advocates? One recent report suggests that annual US fuel consumption may fall more than 20 percent by 2035. But that's only if electric vehicles account for about 35 percent of new-vehicle purchases. A real tall order, for sure, but a possible scenario nevertheless.

US gasoline demand may fall to as "little" as 7 million barrels a day in 2035 from the current 9 million, MarketWatch says, citing a report released by energy consultant Wood Mackenzie earlier this week. Of course, EVs would need to account for more than a third of new-car sales by then. A more likely scenario is a less-sexy five percent drop in annual fuel usage and an EV market share of about 10 percent, the report says.

The key to such a fuel-demand drop is the development of more affordable electric vehicles with longer single-charge ranges such as the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt (and the next-gen Nissan Leaf). The problem, though, is that things appear to be moving in the opposite direction with the recent drop in gas prices. In February, year-over-year gasoline demand in the US rose the fastest in almost four decades, Bloomberg News said, citing the US Energy Information Administration. And, while US plug-in vehicle sales are up about seven percent for the year, they fell 5.5 percent last month to about 9,700 units.

Meanwhile, Reuters said in March that US gasoline consumption will be at an all-time high for the summer months. US gas prices are averaging $2.32 a gallon, which is slightly higher than a month ago but 17 percent less than a year ago, according to AAA.

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