Peter Ker December 12, 2011
Half the cars on the world's roads will be environmentally friendly hybrids or electric vehicles by 2040, according to oil giant Exxon Mobil.
The prediction - part of a broader energy manifesto released by the company in recent days - would see conventional petrol and diesel cars lose a large chunk of their 98 per cent hold on the personal vehicle market.
But Exxon Mobil says most of the growth in green cars will come from the hybrid market, with the adoption of electric vehicles likely to be limited by practicality and cost issues.
''The vast majority will be hybrids that use mainly gasoline plus a small amount of battery power.
''These will make up more than 40 per cent of the global fleet by 2040,'' the report said.
''Exxon Mobil expects to see growth in plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, along with compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas powered vehicles.
''However, these will account for only about 5 per cent of the global fleet in 2040.''
While the projections of a growing green vehicle sector might sound odd from an oil company, it's all part of business for Exxon Mobil.
The company has exposure to the hybrid and electric car sector through making lithium ion batteries and other technologies to enhance fuel efficiency.
The manifesto also predicted a future where the efficiency of vehicles is increasingly mandated by government, with lighter and smaller cars achieving nearly twice the average miles-per-gallon ratios seen in 2010.