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Data: Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new study helps to show that experts are all over the map when it comes to gaming out the rise of electric vehicles in the global marketplace.

Why it matters: The speed at which EVs become truly mainstream is one variable affecting the future of oil demand and carbon emissions. Passenger cars account for roughly a fourth of world oil demand.

What they did: Columbia's Center on Global Energy Policy surveyed a suite of long-term forecasts from energy companies, government bodies, think tanks and others.

  • The study compiled various analysts’ projections on several metrics, including the EVs share of global vehicle sales, the share of vehicle miles traveled, and EVs market share of the total fleet.

What they found: The latest round of analyses are slightly less optimistic than last year's projections for several reasons, including weakening U.S. policy and slightly slower projections of battery cost declines.

  • The study also shows lots of divergences.
  • "By 2040, the range of EVs’ market share is from 15 percent at the bottom to over 90 percent for the low carbon scenarios," writes CGEP's Marianne Kah.
  • "Thus, there is no agreement on whether EVs will be a niche car or whether they will dominate vehicle sales by 2040."

Of note: Those super-high penetration rates in the chart above are based on various low carbon scenarios.

  • They typically assume implementation of strong policies that would enable steep emissions cuts, as opposed to analysts' best guesses of what's most likely to unfold.

Go deeper: How the world's cities will drive electric vehicle adoption

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Electric vehicle sales far surpass pandemic expectations

Data: EIA; Note: 2020 figures are preliminary; Chart: Axios Visuals

New International Energy Agency preliminary data shows that worldwide sales grew by an estimated 40% last year, exceeding the agency's expectations.

Why it matters: The increase occurred despite a drop on overall global vehicle sales.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

General Motors puts Trump in its rearview mirror

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

General Motors (GM) is racing to prepare itself for a president and a world that takes climate change more seriously — and putting the Trump era behind them in the process.

Driving the news: GM yesterday announced an ambitious plan to end global sales of internal combustion vehicles by 2035. It's part of their wider new pledge to be carbon neutral by 2040.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

Chevron posts another quarterly loss under weight of pandemic

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Chevron posted another quarterly loss Friday in the latest sign of how the pandemic is still weighing on oil companies despite some price recovery during the second half of the year.

Driving the news: The oil giant reported a $665 million loss for the October-December period, but it shrinks to $11 million on an adjusted basis after considering charges on its acquisition of Noble Energy and "foreign currency effects."