Petrol and diesel vehicles won’t be around much after 2070, says oil giant Shell.
That’s when hydrogen-fuelled cars will take over, predicts the company in a report entitled New Lens Scenarios, a 46-page attempt to try and understand the future.
The analysis of future fuels and economic scenarios says: “By 2070, the passenger road market could be nearly oil-free.
“Towards the end of the century an extensive hydrogen infrastructure rollout displaces oil demand for long haul and heavy loads.
“By this time, electricity and hydrogen may dominate, and affordable, plug-in, hybrid hydrogen vehicles offer the ultimate in flexibility and efficiency.”
However, Shell says the demand for oil has yet to reach its peak. “Entirely removing oil from road transport worldwide is a truly colossal undertaking,” it says.
“With reduced growth of travel demand, increased vehicle efficiency, and natural gas, electricity and hydrogen increasingly in use, liquid fuels for passenger road transport decline after a global peak in 2035.”
The report envisions two possible futures, one called Mountains and the other Oceans, both dealing by 2050 with a world population of nine billion, increased prosperity and global energy demand. So what’s the world coming to? Here’s what Shell thinks.
Mountains implies “far-reaching policy measures by governments.” Cities will develop in more compact ways and “new policies unlock plentiful natural gas resources – making it the largest global energy source by the 2030s – and accelerate carbon capture and storage technology, supporting a cleaner energy system.”
Oceans takes place in “a more prosperous and volatile world.” Solar power overtakes natural gas as the world’s largest energy source as “power is more widely distributed and governments take longer to agree on major decisions.” Oil and coal power is being slowly replaced by renewable energy.
Toyota has already made its first steps into the world of hydrogen-powered vehicles with the FCV Concept unveiled at the Tokyo motor show last November. The FCV is expected to be on the road in some countries by next year.
In theory, hydrogen vehicles will offer customers zero emissions motoring without the range anxiety associated with electric cars.