Exxon CEO Says All New Cars Will Be Electric By 2040

All new passenger cars sold will be electric by 2040, ExxonMobil’s CEO Darren Woods told CNBC on Monday—not just in one country, but in the whole world.

For comparison’s sake, last year, only 9% of the world’s passenger car sales were electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids. While that’s a 100% increase from the year before, it’s l00% of a relatively small figure.

Exxon Mobil isn’t just a large oil producer—it also owns three of the United States’ top ten refiners—two of which boast a capacity of over a million barrels a day each, according to the EIA. According to Woods, Exxon will need to focus on chemicals to keep the company profitable during the transition.

“That change will not make or break this business or this industry, quite frankly,” Woods said.

Exxon is forecasting that by 2040, oil demand will be what it was in 2013 or 2014.

According to a new poll by Consumer Reports, 36% of Americans said they would consider buying or leasing an electric car—the highest positive response rate to a Consumer Report electric car poll ever. However, it should be noted that the poll revealed that only 14% of Americans polled said they definitely are getting an electric vehicle next. Still, that figure is up from the 4% who answered they would “definitely” buy an EV next in Consumer Report’s 2020 EV survey.

Another 57% of those polled had lingering concerns with charging, range, and cost—with a bit less than half completely unaware that EV incentives exist.

With 83% of Americans reporting that they had never ridden in or driven an EV, Wood’s forecast for all new EVs by 2040 will be a serious challenge.

Other countries, however, such as Norway, Iceland, and Sweden, already have an extensive EV presence.

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