Competitive warfare The impact of electric cars on the oil & refinery industry and their countermeasures

Transportation sector energy consumption

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Transportation sector energy consumption

Over the next 25 years, world demand for liquids fuels is projected to increase more rapidly in the transportation sector than in any other end-use sector. Over the 2006-2030 period, transportation accounts for nearly 80 percent of the total increase in world liquids consumption. Much of the growth in transportation energy use is projected for the non-OECD

nations. Many rapidly expanding non-OECD economies are expected to see strong growth in energy consumption as transportation systems are modernized and income per capita increases the demand for personal motor vehicle ownership (EIA, 2009).

Figure 2: OECD and Non-OECD Transportation Sector Liquids Consumption

Source: Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook, 2009

  1. Alternative fuels

As presented in the previous chapter, the world currently depends on fossil fuels and crude oil. The ecological consequences of Man’s hunt for oil and its drawbacks have been of increasing severity. From air pollution caused by the emission of green house gases, predominantly caused by traffic, to major environmental disasters (i.e. the Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska or most recently the explosion of BP’s offshore rig Deepwater Horizon in the Golf of Mexico), these and other reasons have caused a change in mind with many people and governments. Hence, there has been a very notable development in interest for alternative forms of energy and fuels, especially for the transportation sector. Today there are various alternatives to gasoline and diesel. Drawing on the US Department of Energy (2010), the most common alternative fuels and their characteristics are:


Renewable fuel, produced from animal fats and vegetable oil

Can be blended with regular diesel and used in light-duty and heavy-duty diesel engines


Produced from starch-based corps

Can be blended with gasoline

Largest producers of ethanol are the USA and Brazil

Natural gas:

Already available to consumers through the utility infrastructure

Two forms: LNG; Liquefied natural gas and CNG; Compressed natural gas

Significantly less emissions than gasoline and diesel engines


Potential to revolutionize energy sector

Can be produced even from water

When produced with renewable energy it holds the promise of pollution free transportation

Not fully developed yet and expensive to roll out


Basically a 2 engine technique – a conventional combustion engine and in addition an electric engine

Plug-in hybrid vehicles have a battery pack, which is larger than in conventional hybrid vehicles, and are pre-charged e.g. at home

Electric vehicles:

Solely powered by electric power which is stored in battery packs

Produce no tailpipe emissions

Will become significantly important to transportation in the upcoming decades

Table 1: Alternative powertrains and broad market availability

Source: A.T. Kearny, Fuel-thrifty, Clean, Electric, 2009

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