Washington – The International Energy Agency predicts the number of passenger vehicles on the world’s roads will more than double to 1.7 billion over the next 23 years.
In a 670-page report on world energy trends, the IEA says the world will see passenger cars and trucks rise from 870 million today to 1.7 billion in 2035, fueled by growth in developing countries.
China, which is now the world’s largest auto market, is expected to see a massive rise in auto sales.
In 2000, China had just 4 cars per 1,000 people. In 2010 it was 40. By 2035, the IEA predicts it will be 310. By comparison, the United States has 660 cars per 1,000 residents today.
The report says China — which has about 60 million vehicles on the roads today — will jump to more than 400 million in 2035.
The report predicts that around 2025, China will surpass both the United States and the European Union for most cars on the roads.
Fast-growing India — which had 14 million passenger cars on the roads in 2011 — will jump to around 160 million cars by 2035. The rise in China will be “a critical source of global oil demand.”
Over the last decade, the world added 30 percent more paved lanes and now has about 28 million miles of paved roads, the report said. By 2035 the world is expected to add 10 million miles of new paved lanes at a cost of $20 trillion.
Of those new roads, 80 percent will be in developing countries. China’s road occupancy will increase by more than 70 percent on average, overtaking the level of congestion in the United States. India’s road occupancy will more than triple.
The tens of millions of new cars will put pressure on world oil demand.
By 2035, plug-in electric and full-electric vehicles will account for just 4 percent of all vehicles sold, while hybrids will account for more than 20 percent and natural gas powered vehicles at 3 percent.
The IEA predicts that electric vehicles and hybrids will account for 14 percent of vehicle emissions reductions by 2035. By 2020, hybrids will account for 10 percent of carbon emissions reductions, and full EVs just 1 percent.
The report says vehicles with internal combustion engines — both hybrids and non-hybrids — “will continue to dominate the passenger light-duty market through to 2035.”
But by 2035, EV emissions reductions will surpass hybrid reductions.
Globally, EVs and plug-in electric hybrids accounted for just 40,000 vehicles sold worldwide in 2011, or less than .05 percent of all vehicles sold, the report said.
Worldwide carbon emissions from transportation have jumped nearly 50 percent from 1991 through 2011 as the use of cars has exploded in developing countries. Road transport accounts for 75 percent of all transport emissions.
Among developing nations, only China has implemented fuel economy standards, but India is considering them. “Fuel economy standards need to be set at levels that are ambitious enough to accelerate the rate of improvement in the fuel economy of vehicles and this requires the standards setting process to take long-term technology learning curves into account,” the report said.
The report predicts the U.S. will boost fuel economy standards from a fleetwide average of 54.5 mpg in 2025 to more than 60 mpg by 2035.
The report also notes that developing countries will see a big increase in car ownership.
In Iraq, just 35 percent of households own a car, though it is still more than twice the per capita ownership in China and nine times the rate of ownership in India.
Per capita car ownership in Iraq is expected to rise from 100 per 1000 in 2010 to 200 per 1,000 by 2035, as the number of cars on the road rises to 8 million in 2020 and to 14 million in 2035.
Last year, Iraq imported about 150,000 cars and trucks, with the typical vehicle imported the Iranian-made Saipa Saba, a small car, IEA said.