2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car at EVgo fast-charging station, Newport Centre, Jersey City, NJEnlarge Photo
Advocates have long suggested that electric vehicles will begin to take over daily driving duties, slowly but surely, from the internal-combustion engine.
Now, even oil companies are starting to acknowledge that there may be reality in that dream of the future.
France's Total SA, one of the world's largest oil producers, released its future outlook for electric vehicles—and it predicts a sharp increase in sales by the end of the next decade.
Total Chief Energy Economist Joel Couse told Bloomberg the company expects electric vehicles will make up 15 to 30 percent of all new-vehicle sales by the year 2030.
In addition to its forecast, Total believes demand for oil-based fuels will peak around the same time.
“Demand will flatten out,” Couse said. “Maybe even decline.”
Gas pumpEnlarge Photo
The forecast is bullish, even outpacing Bloomberg New Energy's forecast, one of the most optimistic released previously.
Other oil companies have continued to trim their long-term forecasts for oil as buyer interest in electric cars rises.
Total itself purchased solar-panel maker SunPower in 2011 and also bought battery maker Saft in a deal estimated to be worth $1 billion.
On the other hand, ExxonMobil has previously dismissed the analytics, claiming electric vehicles will only hold 10 percent of the market by the year 2040.
This is despite Fitch, a leading credit agency, stating electric vehicles pose a "resoundingly negative" threat to all oil makers in the future.
Automakers continue to deliver electric vehicles with longer ranges and faster-charging techniques, and plug-in cars with 200-plus miles of range are becoming more affordable for the average consumer.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car, owned by Brian Ro, Columbia, MarylandEnlarge Photo
And it may not simply be automakers, either. Electronic companies could also push the expansion of electric vehicles and battery technology through their own research and development.
But the roll out and mass adoption of electric vehicles will be a long, drawn-out process, considering consumers don't buy a new vehicle every year.
Some have argued Tesla's rise to the top has already planted a seed for growth into the future, promising zero-emissions, quality product, and even performance capability.
While electric vehicle sales only make up 1 percent of global sales today, judging by automakers' future product roadmaps, little seems capable of halting the rise of the battery-electric vehicle.
[hat tip: Raymond Cooper]