The next decade of innovations in automotive technologies is likely to dramatically change the process by which passengers and goods are moved. Developments in vehicle electrification, connectivity, and automated driving are creating potential for new business models in transportation services and significant savings in transportation costs. At the confluence of these developments lies a timely, cost efficient, and well-organized transportation system. The lengthy lifespan of vehicles relative to other consumer products will, however, spread the revolutionary impact on the existing transportation system and regional fuels markets over decades.
Displacing oil as the leading transportation energy resource has long been a policy goal of global governments. The emergence of automated mobility systems (AMSs) adds a layer of complexity to the prospects of these policies and the various fuels markets. Low-cost, efficient travel is likely to encourage greater use of passenger travel through light duty vehicles (LDVs), which may come at the cost of more efficient public transit options. The result is likely to increase overall transportation sector energy consumption. Vehicle fuels that compete well in small LDV segments will see more demand from this shift than those in large LDV segments because automated services are likely to utilize smaller vehicles.
This report provides an update to Navigant Research’s Global Fuels Consumption model, with a focus on how emerging AMSs may affect regional fuels markets. The study assesses the potential impacts to the fuels markets through four scenarios of AMS penetration (no adoption, low, mid, and high). Global forecasts for road fuel consumption for LDVs and medium and heavy duty vehicles (MHDVs), segmented by region, fuel, and scenario, extend through 2035. Although this report focuses on the effects of automated technologies on passenger vehicle energy consumption, forecasts also include the fuel consumption of goods vehicles.