In all three scenarios, two important trends are underway for light-duty road transportation. First, increasing prosperity brings increased levels of vehicle ownership, with a larger parc of vehicles driving more kilometres. Second, regulation and technological advances spur a shift from oil products to electricity as the main energy carrier for light vehicles. As electrified vehicles are significantly more efficient, overall energy used in light-duty road transportation does not grow and by 2030 starts to decline. The pace of the decline, which is most pronounced in the demand for hydrocarbon fuels, differs across the scenarios.
There are significant parallels with light duty in the prospects for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The growth of the global economy requires more vehicles to transport goods, with almost all of the parc expansion taking place in emerging economies. As regulation requires decarbonization, liquid fuels are replaced largely by electricity, supported by hydrogen. Natural gas including biomethane also plays a role.
Aviation demand recovers strongly from COVID-19 disruption and grows significantly to 2050 across all three scenarios. The incumbent fleet and long-haul range requirements mean that liquid fuels continue to dominate over the Outlook, with the decarbonization of aviation driven by the increasing penetration of sustainable liquid jet fuel (SAF), in the form of both bio-based and fully synthetic SAF.
Seaborne trade grows in all three scenarios, with economical shipping of goods and raw materials a critical element of the continued growth of the global economy. Decarbonization of the marine sector requires the gradual transition of the fleet to new fuels, led by hydrogen-based fuels (ammonia and methanol), supported by growing roles for biofuels and natural gas.
The current marine fleet relies almost entirely on oil products, with alternative, low-carbon energy sources currently significantly more expensive. The cost of fuels is critical. For large ships, the cost of fuel over their lifetime can be many multiples of the initial build cost.