In 2025, the report forecasts China will have more cars and trucks than the United States or the European Union
The prediction of a doubling in the number of motor vehicles on Earth by 2035 would seem to warrant a prescription for birth control.
The more than 7 billion people now on the planet get around in fewer than 1 billion motor vehicles and the global population is not expected to double in 23 years.
It's that emerging nations -- the world outside North America, Europe, Australia and Japan -- want to live what used to be called a Western lifestyle. Consumerism is now the global lifestyle.
The change has been under way for generations. The question is whether it can be expanded in a sustainable manner.
A 670-page report on global energy trends by the International Energy Agency points out China, the world's largest auto market and most populous country, went from having four cars per 1,000 people in 2000 to 40 per 1,000 in 2010, MSNBC reported.
China has about 60 million vehicles now, but in 23 years the prediction is it will have 400 million -- 310 motor vehicles per 1,000 people -- still less than half the 660 vehicles per 1,000 population currently on U.S. roads, but there are a lot more Chinese (1.3 billion) than Americans and Europeans.
In 2025, the report forecasts China will have more cars and trucks than the United States or the European Union. The number of motor vehicles in India is predicted to leap from 14 million passenger cars in 2011 to about 160 million by 2035.
Needless to say world demand for oil will skyrocket -- and so could global pollution and climate change -- unless a substantial number of those new vehicles are powered by electricity and alternative fuels.
Unfortunately, IEA foresees only 4 percent of those millions of new cars being plug-in and all-electric vehicles and just 3 percent powered by compressed natural gas. About 20 percent will be gas-electric hybrids and the other nearly three-quarters will have gasoline or diesel-burning internal combustion engines.
IEA also predicted by 2035 nearly 90 percent of all the oil produced in the Middle East would go to Asia, with China, India and the Mideast accounting for 60 percent of the expected growth in global energy demand.
China is expected to build 10 million miles of new paved lanes by 2035 to add to its 28 million miles of paved roads.
The agency said because of new technologies the United States will become a net exporter of energy around 2030 and will be close to energy self-sufficiency five years later thanks to advanced oil recovery techniques, shale natural gas and bio-fuel production augmented by increased use of renewables like solar and wind power.
"No country is an energy 'island,' and the interactions between different fuels, markets and prices are intensifying," the report's executive summary concludes.
The report predicts U.S corporate average fuel economy standards which are set to reach 54.5 mpg in 2025 will top 60 mpg by 2035.