OPEC Doesn't See A Future Ruled By Electric Cars

Dec 23, 2015 05:29 PM EST | John Nassivera

Electric car fans won't be happy to hear what the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has to say about the future of environmentally friendly vehicles.

The group, made up of major oil-producing nations, is predicting that 94 percent of all cars on the road will rely on fossil fuels by 2040 and that electric cars will only make up one percent of global vehicle sales around the same time, according to CNNMoney.

OPEC credits high costs and a lack of refueling regulations with the lack of demand for alternative-energy vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel and natural gas that will exist in the future.

"Without a technology breakthrough, battery electric vehicles are not expected to gain significant market share in the foreseeable future," OPEC said in its annual World Oil Outlook.

The organization is also putting hybrid electric cars like the Toyota Prius and the Chevrolet Volt in the fossil fuel category since most of them run on gasoline, and it predicts that they will do better than battery-powered electric vehicles, making up 14 percent of global vehicle sales by 2040, The Car Connection noted.

OPEC added that cars and trucks in 25 years will need about 17 percent more fuel than they do today due to their increasing demand, and growing demand and low oil production in non-OPEC areas will lead to a $5 increase in oil prices per barrel each year.

These anti-electric car predictions don't come as a surprise due to OPEC's reliance on the transportation sector and other oil-dependent industries to make money, CNNMoney noted.

OPEC added that over 40 percent of global oil demand comes from road vehicles and doesn't expect that to change by 2040.

The predictions also come at a time in which electric cars continue to grow in popularity, as the field has even attracted companies that aren't in the auto field, like Apple and Google, The Telegraph reported. Automakers with their eyes set on EVs include Tesla, which plans to make its Model 3 available by 2017, Ford, which is investing $4.5 billion in electric and hybrid cars, and Volkswagen, which plans on debuting a "new concept car" next month that the average driver can afford.

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