President Obama might see a bright future for electric cars in the United States,  but not everyone shares his positive outlook.

Unsurprisingly, oil giants BP and Exxon are among them. 

In a report released last  month, BP outlined data which suggests that electric cars will only account for 4 percent of the global fleet of commercial and passenger vehicles by 2030. 

“Oil will remain the dominant transport fuel,” said BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley. “We expect 87 percent of transport fuel in 2030 will still be petroleum based.”

In case you’re wondering, that equates to roughly 64 million vehicles worldwide. 

Exxon Mobil on the other hand, is even more skeptical. 

In its 2040 Energy Outlook, the firm said electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and natural gas-fuelled cars will only represent 5 percent of the global fleet by 2040.

The reason? According to Exxon, electric cars will continue to remain more expensive than gasoline cars for the next 20 years or more. 

Royal Dutch Shell, however, disagrees. 

Offshore Oil Rig

Offshore Oil Rig

According to its Chief Executive Peter Voser, electric cars will account for up to 40 percent of all cars worldwide by 2050.

By 2030, it says the efficiency of regular gasoline engines will have doubled, with one-third of all cars on the road including a hybrid drivetrain. 

Are the predictions accurate? 

No-one can know for sure, as Reuters points out, oil companies are facing ever-increasing costs drilling for oil in remote and dangerous areas. 

In order to recoup those costs, the price of oil has to remain at $80 a barrel or higher.  And that means demand has to be kept high. 

Or perhaps as former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin would say, "Drill Baby, Drill!"

We think it's pretty obvious that oil companies are likely to be pessimistic about electric cars, but how far out are the predictions from BP, Exxon and Shell?

Put on your conspiracy hats, and let us know your thoughts in the Comments below. 


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