Hybrids win in Exxon Mobil's yearly energy outlook

The world's largest oil company projects half of us will be driving hybrids by 2040.

The pulse is up today on news that we’ll be spending less at the pump in the foreseeable future. At least that’s what Exxon Mobil predicted in its yearly energy outlook today. The world’s largest oil company estimates that half of all drivers will be behind the wheels of hybrids by 2040.

According to the survey, gas-sippers like Toyota’s Prius, Honda’s Civic and Ford’s Escape will help flatten demand for oil in the industrialized world in coming decades. This is welcome news for American drivers who’ve seen more and more of their dwindling paychecks disappear into their gas tanks in recent years.

Good news for drivers. Bad news for oil companies? Not necessarily.

What we don’t spend on gas, China probably will. Exxon Mobil sees opportunities in developing countries like China, where demand for petro-chemicals will increase a dramatic 60 percent by 2040 as the world population passes the 9 billion mark.

While the survey predicts global rises in demand for nearly all types of energy, from natural gas to wind, coal is the big loser. The report states that coal will peak as a source of energy in 2025 and see a 10 percent decline by 2040.

Exxon Mobil’s slant on the future of global energy consumption is naturally going to be positive. It’s their business, and stockholders don’t want to hear that at some point, humanity will be forced to pivot away from extraction and toward some brave new world.

About the author

Joel Patterson is the Associate Producer of Marketplace Money.

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