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Global light-duty vehicles to grow to 2.21 billion by 2050

Global light-duty vehicles to grow to 2.21 billion by 2050
Chart courtesy of IEA

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that the  global  light-duty  vehicle  (LDV)  fleet will grow to 2.21 billion vehicles by 2050. According to the  U.S. Department of Energy agency, the current size of the  global  light-duty  vehicle  fleet  is  1.31  billion  vehicles (as of 2020).

In its recently published International  Energy  Outlook  2021,  the EIA also  projected that  electric  vehicles  (EVs)—any  LDV  with  a  charging  plug— will  grow  from  0.7%  of  the  global  LDV  fleet  in  2020  to  31%  in  2050,  reaching  672  million  vehicles.  

Significant  growth  in  EV  sales  and shares  of  sales  through  the  projection  period  results  in  the  global  conventional  gasoline  and  diesel  LDV  fleet  peaking  in  2038, the EIA said.

“We project  that  an  increase  in  economic  activity,  population,  and  private  mobility  will  result  in  more  global  LDVs  through  2050.  We project  the  population  of  non-OECD  (Organization  for  Economic  Cooperation  and  Development)  countries  will  grow  at  over  three times  the  population  growth  rate  of  OECD  countries  and  that  the  non-OECD  motorization  rate  will  increase  from  92  vehicles  per thousand  people  to 173  vehicles  per  thousand  people  between  2020  and  2050.  The  OECD  countries’  motorization  rate  remains around  530  vehicles  per  thousand  people  through  the  projection  period.”

Because  of  this  growth  in  population  and  motorization  rates, the EIA projected that  the  number  of  LDVs  in  non-OECD  countries  will  surpass  those  in  OECD  countries  in  2025.

The  2020  global  LDV  fleet  primarily  consists  of  conventional  gasoline  and  diesel  internal  combustion  engine  vehicles,  but  sales  of EVs  are  projected  to  grow  due  to  recent  technology  and  policy  developments.  

EVs  include both  full  battery,  all-electric  vehicles  and  plug-in  hybrid  electric  vehicles  that  are  primarily  powered  by  liquid  fuels  when  batteries  are nearly  depleted.

“We project  EV  fleet  shares  will  reach  34%  in  OECD  countries  and  28%  in  non-OECD  countries  by  2050.  Although  the  conventional LDV  fleet  peaks  in  2023  for  OECD  countries,  faster  growth  in  the  non-OECD  fleet  results  in  nearly  two-thirds  of  light-duty  EVs  being  in non-OECD  countries  by  2050.”