Jan 29, 2019

Electric, autonomous vehicles could cut U.S. gasoline demand

A gas station in New York. Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

A new Morningstar report says that the rise of autonomous and electric vehicles may steeply cut U.S. gasoline demand in coming decades.

Why it matters: The report adds to analysts' efforts to game out how interlocking changes in mobility will affect fuel demand and, by extension, greenhouse gas emissions.

What they found: They project that the introduction and adoption of autonomous vehicle tech will cut ride-hailing costs a lot, although total vehicle mileage likely rises as consumers use ride-hailing and car-sharing more.

  • That's due to miles driven by AVs with no passengers, along with ride-hailing cannibalizing public transit, walking and bikes.
  • But, but, but: The growth of EVs more than offsets the rise in fuel use from more traveling.

By the numbers, per the report:

  • Gasoline demand could fall by 70% by 2050.
  • Ride-hailing could account for more than 1/5 of light-duty vehicle miles traveled by 2050.
  • A "base case" scenario envisions a massive rise in EV sales, one that vastly outstrips the latest (and pessimistic) Energy Information Administration outlook.
  • EVs could account for 45% of U.S. light-duty sales in 2050, with hybrids and plug-in hybrids taking another 45%.

Go deeper: The states with the most expensive gas prices

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,414,738 — Total deaths: 81,259 — Total recoveries: 298,642Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 387,547 — Total deaths: 12,291 — Total recoveries: 20,395Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill.
  4. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  5. World latest: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  6. Wisconsin primary in photos: Thousands gathered to cast ballots in-person during the height of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S.
  7. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Airline industry braces for a forever-changed world

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The airline industry got a $58 billion lifeline in the coronavirus federal aid package. But the path is unclear for these companies, whose operations and prospects will be forever changed by the global pandemic.

Why it matters: People may want to minimize travel for the foreseeable future. Investors, analysts and industry watchers are trying to determine how much airlines will need to spend — and how much more in lost revenue they'll see — while they adapt to the new reality.

Trump denies seeing Navarro memos warning about toll of coronavirus

President Trump said at a press briefing Tuesday that he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning in January and February that the coronavirus crisis could kill more than half a million Americans and cost close to $6 trillion.

Why it matters: Trump insisted that despite not seeing the memos, he did "more or less" what Navarro suggested by banning non-U.S. citizens from traveling from China effective Feb. 2.