While many analysts are of the opinion that we may be approaching "peak oil," a time when oil production globally has reached its maximum possible output and begins to decline as the largest producing fields are depleted, one auto industry consultant says that it's not supply, but demand that is nearing its peak levels.
Ricardo Strategic Consulting, says a report published in the Oil & Gas Journal on Monday, says oil demand will stop growing by 2020. Furthermore, they say, it will get to a level no more than 4% higher than 2010 demand during that period.
While most recognized experts including the International Energy Agency see oil demand continuing to grow through at least 2035, Ricardo Strategic Consulting says that government pressure to increase fuel efficiency in cars will be one of the driving factors in reducing overall oil demand. They also cite increased use of biofuels such as ethanol as a replacement for gasoline.
Adding increased market penetration of electric and electric-hybrid vehicles to the mix and perhaps 2020 isn't such a wild estimate after all. Even AAA is starting to prepare for a more widespread adoption of electric vehicles by testing a mobile roadside recharging service. With gasoline powered cars, running out of fuel on road is inconvenient to be sure, but a call to AAA for a couple gallons of gas, or a walk to a nearby filling station with a gas can solves the problem. With electric cars, if you forget to top off your charge and run out on the road, your options are much more limited, unless you have an extension cord several miles long, a tow truck might be the only solution. Until now, that is.
AAA is testing portable fast-chargers that can deliver enough of a charge to an electric car's battery to in just ten minutes to let it drive another 15 miles, hopefully far enough o get to a regular charging station, according to a Fox News report.