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Electric Vehicles Are Going to Dent Oil Demand—Eventually

Oil demand could be 21 million barrels less per day by mid-century thanks to electric vehicles.

Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 electric automobiles on a railway vehicle transporter in Zwickau, Germany.

Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 electric automobiles on a railway vehicle transporter in Zwickau, Germany.

Photographer: Stefanie Loos/Bloomberg
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Electric passenger vehicle sales are on a tear. In the first quarter of 2010, 395 EVs were sold worldwide. Last quarter, more than 1.7 million were sold — of those, more than 935,000 sold in Asia. In 1Q 2010, you would have needed three decimal places to show EVs as a percentage of global passenger vehicle sales (0.002%). Last quarter, the decimals hardly mattered: EVs were 10.8% of sales, an order of magnitude increase in little more than four years since passing 1% in the second quarter of 2017.