Hybrids will account for 50 per cent of cars by 2040: Exxon Mobil

In just about 30 years, 50 per cent of cars on earth will be hybrids or operate on alternative fuel, the Exxon Mobil, the world's largest listed oil company predicted in its annual 'energy outlook' released on Friday.

Hybrids, which run on both petrol and battery power, constitute less than one per cent of all vehicles at present. William Colton, Exxon's strategic planning chief, said tightening vehicle mileage standards may encourage people to opt for hybrids.

Reflecting on the future of oil over the next 30 years, the report says the response will vary by region, reflecting diverse economic and demographic trends as well as the evolution of technology and government policies. ''Everywhere, though, we see energy being used more efficiently and energy supplies continuing to diversify as new technologies and sources emerge.''

The key findings of this year's Outlook include:

  • Global energy demand will be about 30 per cent higher in 2040 compared to 2010
  • Energy demand growth will slow as economies mature, efficiency gains accelerate and population growth moderates
  • Energy use in the OECD countries will remain essentially flat. Non-OECD energy demand will grow by close to 60 per cent
  • By 2040, electricity generation will account for more than 40 per cent of global energy consumption
  • Oil will remain the most widely used fuel, but natural gas will grow fast enough to overtake coal for the number-two position
  • For both oil and natural gas, an increasing share of global supply will come from unconventional sources, such as those from shale formations. Demand for natural gas will rise by more than 60 per cent through 2040
  • Demand for coal will peak and begin a gradual decline
  • Gains in efficiency through energy-saving practices and technologies will temper demand growth and curb emissions
  • Global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will grow slowly, then level off around 2030.

The Texas-based energy major, however, insists that even by 2040, 90 per cent of the world's transportation will be operated on oil-based fuels. The world's oil reserves will last for at least another 100 years, even if demand were to grow at 25 per cent annually.