Don't Believe Big Oil's Line About Electric Cars

Tamara Rutter sees Big Oil pronouncements that electric cars are decades off as self-serving.

Published: 17-Feb-2012

The biggest oil companies in the world want you to believe that electric cars are inferior to their gas-guzzling counterparts. Recent reports by ExxonMobil (NYS: XOM) and BP (NYS: BP) say that few, if any, of you will see electric cars outnumber gas vehicles in your lifetimes. However, recent breakthroughs in electric powertrain technology tell a different story. With or without biased reports, disruptive innovation ultimately leads to change.

It's important to understand that oil behemoths like Exxon and BP get hundreds of billions in backing each year, which is put toward new and expensive oil projects. It would be much harder for these companies to validate those investments without optimistic reports on the demand for oil in the future.

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So it's hardly a surprise that Exxon, the biggest oil and gas company in the world, says that in 20 to 30 years only 5% of the world's cars will be electric. BP voiced a similar outlook. According to Reuters, the company's CEO said, "Oil will remain the dominant transport fuel and we expect 87% of transport fuel in 2030 will still be petroleum based."


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