Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Nathaniel Bullard

OPEC Sees a Future With Fewer Cars

The oil cartel doesn't explain why, but others point to autonomous vehicles and ride sharing.
More cars were expected.

More cars were expected.

Photographer: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Among the revelations in OPEC's just published World Oil Outlook -- including, as Gadfly’s Liam Denning has explained, long-term demand for oil and shale production -- is a notable change in the cartel's assumptions about passenger cars. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries expects 137 million fewer of them on the road in 2040 than it did just two years ago.

Admittedly, OPEC still expects a lot of cars – more than two billion of them – but that's 6 percent less than what it predicted in 2015.