The world may have seen its peak demand for gas-powered vehicles

Source: By Ben Geman, Axios • Posted: Sunday, December 1, 2019

Cars going down a highway.
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sales of gasoline-powered light-duty vehicles in the U.S. are unlikely to ever top their 2016 level of 17.3 million, according to an analysis from the think tank Third Way.

Why it matters: Transportation is the country’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

The big picture: The report adds to the emerging signs of “peak ICE.”

  • That’s the prospect that sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars in the U.S. and perhaps the world will never rise again.
Reproduced from Third Way; Chart: Axios Visuals

What’s next: “Sales of gasoline powered vehicles will continue to fall due to the strong growth and now competitive viability of electric vehicles,” the report predicts.

  • EVs are just a tiny share of vehicle sales right now.
  • But the analysis notes they have momentum, with sales of plug-in hybrids and full electrics combined growing fourfold since 2015 to reach an estimated 433,000 this year.
  • Nevertheless, it calls for policy measures that would speed up adoption of EVs, including incentives for re-tooling manufacturing plants to produce new models.