Last year, consumers around the world bought 2 million electric cars, spurred by a combination of falling battery costs and generous vehicle incentives in places like China and California. The agency expects purchases of electric cars to accelerate worldwide and, as a result, predicts that global gasoline and diesel use for cars could finally peak by the mid-2020s.
But this projection comes with a caveat: Even as countries promote electric cars, a growing number of people in the United States, Europe, China and India are also buying larger S.U.V.s, which consume more gasoline than conventional cars. In 2000, just 18 percent of passenger vehicles sold worldwide were S.U.V.s. Today, it’s 42 percent.
If this love affair with S.U.V.s continues, the report notes, it could wipe out much of the oil savings from the nascent electric-car boom. One key question, then, is whether carmakers can figure out how to manufacture, and convince people to buy, battery-powered versions of popular S.U.V. models.
Energy efficiency efforts are slowing
In addition to switching to cleaner sources of energy, countries can also curb their emissions by improving the energy efficiency of their factories, homes and vehicles through policies like building codes and fuel economy standards.
On this score, the report has bad news: In 2018, the energy intensity of the global economy, a measure of efficiency, improved by just 1.2 percent, one of the slowest rates in years. And many countries are weakening their policies, including the United States, where the Trump administration
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