Products derived from a single barrel of oil
Courtesy of Visual Capitalist
To think about how disrupted oil markets could be in the future, it’s helpful to think about oil’s different end products and the state of the technologies which could replace them.
The electric car is an example of a mature technology. With electric cars making up a greater percentage of new cars being sold, gasoline—the most widely-used petroleum product—is the furthest along its path to being substituted. But it’s a slow process.
- Last year, only 4.6 percent of new cars sold were electric. Even as that percentage continues to grow, cars often stay on the road for a decade or more, suggesting the transition away from gasoline will take many decades.
After gasoline, very few petroleum products have large-scale, commercial substitutes.