Emerging and developing countries in Asia, particularly China and India will account for about 90 per cent of the net increase in road freight oil demand till 2050, according to International Energy Agency (IEA).

In its report titled ‘The future of trucks’ it says that this demand will be equivalent to around 30 per cent of the total oil demand growth from all sectors. IEA estimates that the oil demand from road freight vehicles is set to rise by 5 million barrels per day to 2050.

The report also notes that energy intensity would fall by nearly 40 per cent below the current levels, as road freight vehicles become increasingly more efficient. These efficiency improvements will be driven by Canada, China, Japan and the United States, the only countries with heavy-duty fuel economy standards already in place.

And from the European Union, Mexico, India and Korea that are are looking to introduce them. The International Council on Clean Transportation estimates that by 2020, the European Union, India, Korea and Mexico will have adopted standards for heavy duty vehicles. In 2015, these countries comprised about 20 per cent of the world’s sales of new heavy-duty vehicles. India’s oil demand for road freight transport has seen the largest growth among all countries since 2000. Road transport oil use in India and the Middle East has tripled since 2000 as well. Interestingly, Latin America and the Middle East each consumed about 1.4 mb/d in 2015, around 90 per cent and 85 per cent of which was diesel in each region.

In Africa, the ASEAN countries and Brazil, road freight oil use has more doubled since 2000. Brazil’s consumption now totals about 0.7 mb/d (about 95 per cent diesel), while it is 0.8 mb/d in India (and nearly all diesel).

In emerging countries in particular, growth in on-road freight activity accelerated as demand for consumer and industrial goods increased. The report notes that road freight activity in India increased by more than ten-fold over the past 3 decades. In China, estimated activity growth of more than thirty-fold occurred between 1975 and 2015.

Economic growth and population growth are the main drivers of a robust projected increase in road freight activity over the coming decades.

Global road freight activity is expected to grow by 2.4 times over today’s level by 2050, concomitant with economic growth. The majority of the increase in road freight activity occurs in emerging and developing economies between 2015 and 2050 that account for nearly 85 per cent of the global growth.

Together, China and India comprise nearly 40 per cent of the global growth in road freight activity by 2050.