Editor's Comment: Fuel quality regulations and electric vehicles

According to the International Energy Agency, by 2040, there will be two billion cars on the roads and 150 million of these will be electric.

Martin Menachery, editor, Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East.
Martin Menachery, editor, Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East.

What is the future of the refining industry against the backdrop of fuel quality regulations becoming more and more stringent, and the growing number of electric vehicles?

On 19 September 2017, a new business campaign designed to fast-track the uptake of electric vehicles and infrastructure has been launched in New York by The Climate Group. The initiative encourages global business commitments on electric transport, with members swapping their large diesel/petrol vehicle fleets to electric vehicle fleets and/or installing electric battery charging infrastructure by 2030. It is interesting to note here that RTA recently introduced 50 electric vehicles in Dubai. According to reports, 75 electric vehicles will be supplied in 2018, 75 more will be delivered in 2019, and there will be provision for 13 electric recharging stations.

There are about one billion cars on the roads around the world today. Out of this, around two million are electric. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2040, there will be two billion cars on the roads and 150 million of these will be electric. That means the percentage of worldwide electric car fleet will increase from the current 0.2% to 7.5% by 2040, still leaving 92.5% on other fuels. There are other vehicles also like trucks, and other modes of transport like ships and planes. These are not running on electric battery; these require liquid fuel.

Fuel demand for use in vehicles is rising continuously despite stringent regulations on efficiency improvements and initiatives to switch to electric vehicles. The doubling in the demand for car travel over the next two decades is expected to drive a doubling in the liquid fuel demand from cars. But as manufacturers respond to the vehicle emission standards, improvements in fuel efficiency will significantly reduce this potential growth in fuel demand.

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