Peak oil

According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2012, global oil production has reached 83.5m barrels per day (30.5 Gb/yr) and proven oil reserves are 1,652,611m barrels (1,653 Gb). Based on simple maths, if this same rate of production continues, the Earth's oil reserves will be completely exhausted in 54 years (2066).

Although it is a controversial issue, many experts agree that 'Peak Oil' (the maximum rate of oil production; closely related to the maximum volume of oil reserves) occurred during the first decade of the 21st century. There is no doubt that as demand continues to increase and supply decreases, the cost of oil is set to rise dramatically.

Peak Oil

Fig.1 - Peak Oil

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Global warming

The graph below shows shares of global CO2 from transport.

Global CO2 shares from transport

Fig.2 - Global CO2 shares from transport8 - (1,000 Million tonnes = 1 Gt)

It can be seen that global road transport CO2 emissions were about 6Gt in 2010. With over 500m of the 800m cars on the road between them, the USA and Europe will remain the dominant car markets, however major growth in car ownership is forecast for the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia India and China).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has recommended that Annex I countries (developed nations) reduce their Green House Gas (GHG) emissions 25-40% by 2020 compared to 1990 and 50-80% by 2050, in order to limit GHG emissions to 450 parts per million (ppm). The international scientific consensus is that 450 ppm is the safe limit to stabilise global temperature rises at less than 2° C above pre-industrial levels. The scientific consensus is also that global (average) temperature rises above 2o C will precipitate climate change with potentially devastating results. The UNEP graph below shows that in 2010, total global CO2e (GHG) emissions were about 45Gt. It can also be seen that the trend line from 2000 - 2010 leads to a 3.5-5o C increase scenario.

UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2012

Fig 3. UNEP Emissions Gap Report 20129

Appendix 2 of the 'EU Transport GHG: Routes to 2050?' report 'Identifying transport's potential contributions to future GHG reduction' TNO, 2009, shows that road transport emissions in the EU-27 need to reduce to 321Mt in 2050 (an approximate share of 16% compared to a 19.5% share of 982 Mt in 2007.

EU-27 Road Transport CO2e Reductions Required

Fig 4. EU-27 Road Transport CO2e Reductions Required10

The Strategy Consultants Roland Berger estimate that in order to meet the 450 ppm GHG emissions scenario - "Scenario 450" - new car CO2 emissions in Europe will need to be 74 g/km by 2020 and 56g/km by 2030.

The Libralato Town & Country Hybrid approach can deliver 56g/km CO2 for the average vehicle by 2015 - in a way that is cost competitive without subsidy.

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8 Source: International Energy Agency (IEA) (2008), CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion, 2008 Edition
9 Source: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), November 2012; The Emissions Gap Report 2012 A UNEP Synthesis Report
10 Source: