At the Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in New York on April 25, Joel Couse, chief economist for Total, predicted that sales of electric cars will surge from about 1% globally in today’s new car market to up to 30% of the market by 2030. If that happens, he says, demand for petroleum based fuels “will flatten out, maybe even decline.” Total is one of the world’s largest oil producers. His forecast surprised many people at the conference.
The forecast by Couse is the highest yet by any major oil company. It even exceeds the expectations of Colin McKerracher, the head of advanced transport analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “That’s big,” he said. “That’s by far the most aggressive we’ve seen by any of the majors.” Michael Liebreich, who founded Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said, “By 2020 there will be over 120 different models of EV across the spectrum. These are great cars. They will make the internal combustion equivalent look old fashioned.”