A new report from USDA’s Economic Research Service suggests ethanol demand may decline with the rise of electric vehicles.
The Global Demand for Fuel Ethanol Through 2030 report suggests that global gasoline demand is expected to stagnate over the next decade, leaving changes in blend rates as the main determinant for future changes in fuel ethanol demand. After seeing strong growth for several years, U.S. ethanol-based demand for corn has plateaued over the last decade at about 5 billion bushels, or roughly 40 percent of U.S. corn production.
Recently, demand for transportation fuels was reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though these markets largely recovered, moving forward, increased adoption of hybrid or electric vehicles and continued fuel efficiency gains will decrease domestic gasoline consumption, which could decrease domestic fuel ethanol demand.
These impacts could result in additional unutilized U.S. ethanol production capacity. The 114-page study is available on the Economic Research Service website, ers.usda.gov.