Electric Cars Are Officially Keeping the Oil Industry up at Night

Even though electric vehicles still only account for a sliver of the global market, Big Oil is beginning to take them seriously as a long-term threat to the industry. While preserving a finite resource is still probably the way to go, oil companies are accustomed to making money and have now begun revising their forecasts to account for accelerated EV adoption.

Companies like Exxon Mobil and BP are ratcheting up their outlooks for the technology, anticipating slowing oil demand, while OPEC has quintupled its forecast for sales of EVs in the coming years.

Those vehicles should account for a reduced oil demand of roughly 8 million daily barrels by 2040. According to Bloomberg, that’s more than the current combined production of Iran and Iraq.

“The number of EVs on the road will have major implications for automakers, oil companies, electric utilities and others,” Colin McKerracher, head of advanced-transport analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, wrote to clients. “There is significant disagreement on how fast adoption will be, and views are changing quickly.”

So quickly, in fact, that OPEC now believes EVs will account for almost a quarter of the global market in under 24 years. That’s 266 million vehicles, up from a scant 46 million it anticipated just a year ago.

If you’re wondering what’s causing the shifting projections from oil companies, it’s the newly concentrated effort from major manufacturers to incorporate electrification into their fleets.

Tesla is beginning production of the more-mainstream Model 3 this summer, Volvo is planning to place an electric motor in all of its vehicles within two years, Mercedes is shifting toward mild hybrids, Volkswagen is promising to be a cleaner, greener company by bringing more electrics to market, and nearly every company is coming out with a new EV as they simultaneously scale down the size of their internal combustion engines. That’s in addition to a growing network of charging stations and governments pushing for more aggressive emission regulations. It’s all working toward an increasingly electric and less oil-driven future.

This article originally appears at TheTruthAboutCars.com


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