Last week, a report from the Energy Security Weekly Update warned oil prices could double from today’s levels in 2020. In 2036, oil companies may face peak oil.

According to Wood Mackenzie, an oil industry consultancy, 2036 will be the year when oil demand drops globally. The consultancy told the Financial Times in a Monday report that self-driving cars would ultimately bring oil consumption down. Self-driving cars, which many predict will feature electric powertrains, will likely drive further distances and further displace the need for gasoline and other fossil fuels. It will likely be especially true as autonomous technologies move into more areas of the transport industry—not just personal mobility.

“Each autonomous electric vehicle [is] expected to have a larger impact on curbing oil demand than a conventional electric car. They will be on the road far more as they are autonomous, displacing a disproportionate amount of oil-based transport,” Ed Rawle, chief economist at Wood Mackenzie, told FT.

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As it stands, the demand for oil grows daily, mostly thanks to China and millions of first-time buyers opting for traditional engines over electric cars. However, the country continues to introduce generous incentives and regulations to steer buyers into “new-energy vehicles” over vehicles powered by internal-combustion engines.

Should oil prices continue to climb from their relatively cheap levels, sticker shock at fuel pumps could once gain push drivers into fuel-efficient cars and provide a boost to electric-car sales. Nearly every major automaker has announced plans to electrify vehicle portfolios and introduce numerous battery-electric cars.

[Source: Financial Times]