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ExxonMobil Predicts Half Of All Vehicles Will Be Hybrids By 2040

Electric car and charge point

According to a new report from ExxonMobil, half of all cars will either be hybrids or some other alternative fuel vehicle by 2040. The prediction was made in ExxonMobil’s recently released annual Outlook, which analyzes global energy demand and consumption and personal vehicle use in the future.

Unsurprisingly, the oil giant also predicts that 90 percent of global transportation would still run on liquid-based petroleum in 2040 – a five percent decrease from today’s levels. So although the world’s largest publicly traded oil company is finally accepting there will be a larger share of hybrids on the road, it still insists global transportation will remain dependent on petroleum.

And of course ExxonMobil also made a number of predictions on world energy consumption in general. It predicts that energy demand in the developed world will remain flat through 2040, while developing countries like China and India will continue to see a surge in demand for oil and petroleum-based fuels.

Demand for oil will increase to 110 million barrels per day – up from 88 million barrels per day today. New oil will come from non-traditional sources, such as Canadian oil sands, natural gas, and deepwater fields. Countries will also develop more advanced drilling methods for oil shale production, such as hydraulic fracturing.

So in the end, it seems that ExxonMobil’s prediction of increased hybrid car uptake won’t seem to make too much of a difference on fossil fuel demand. The company insists that Electric Vehicles (EVs) will not be economically viable for the majority of consumers even 30 years from now.

However, the recent advances in EV technology and renewable energy could suggest otherwise. For instance, Better Place is already developing the infrastructure for battery-swapping stations for EVs which could increase the accessibility (and viability) of EVs in the near future. China has announced it wants to make 100 million electric vehicles each year by 2020. And electric-car sharing programs are springing up in places like Paris and San Diego.

Simple economies of scale suggest that the price for EV’s will drop substantially in the very near future as demand escalates.

Do you agree with ExxonMobil’s prediction that 50 percent of all cars will be hybrids by 2040? Do you think the world will remain as reliant on petroleum as ExxonMobil suggests?

Image CC licensed by Department for Communities and Local Government: Electric car and charging point

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  • Anonymous

    Who knows if their data is credible … does it include a shift in consumer values that some believe is happening with greater force? To pull out an old one ‘the stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stones, we found a better way to do things’ … same with oil … Let’s trust their data, but lets also build an appetite to create a different future. Consumer ‘will’ needs to also be matched by corporate ‘will’, Exxon itself could do more investment in clean-tech for example.

  • Joseph Tohill

    Agreed. Any information coming from an oil company needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Especially when the information is being used to make predictions 30 years into the future!

    If I were being totally cynical, I would say that Exxon sees the writing on the wall with alternative energy and is using the 50% hybrid figure to sound like its being progressive. Of course hybrids almost by definition still use petroleum. Which leads us to their real underlying assertion: that 90% of transportation will still require petroleum… which would in turn bolster continued investment and make the company seem like it has good long-term prospects. Now I’m not going to disagree with their assertion entirely, but at the rate technology is advancing, I am far more optimistic about where transportation will be in 2040.