Environment

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Even Exxon Mobil thinks electric vehicles are the future.

The oil giant is predicting that by 2040, every new passenger car sold in the world will be electric, CEO Darren Woods told CNBC’s David Faber in an interview. In 2021, just 9% of all passenger car sales were electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, according to market research company Canalys. That number is up 109% from 2020 says Canalys.

In light of its modeling, Woods said Exxon Mobil is evaluating how the decline in gasoline sales could impact its business. Exxon Mobil is one of the largest publicly traded international gas companies and a leader in the industry. Its website boasts that it is the largest “refiner and marketer of petroleum products,” as well as a chemicals company.

Woods, who spent a part of his career on the chemical side of the company’s operations, says chemicals will be key to keeping the company profitable during the clean energy transition. The plastics that Exxon Mobil produces can be used in the manufacturing of electric vehicles.

ExxonMobil’s calculations predicted that oil demand in 2040 would be equivalent to what the world needed in 2013 or 2014. Woods explained to CNBC that the company was still profitable at that time.

Woods seemed unfazed by the prediction, saying “that change will not make or break this business or this industry quite frankly.”

Watch the video above to see David Faber’s full interview with Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods in Corpus Christi. This interview was conducted as part of CNBC’s unprecedented access to Exxon Mobil’s plans for the energy transition, documented in our premiere documentary: “ExxonMobil at the Crossroads.”

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