Recently, Volvo's announcement that all of its vehicles will be hybrid or electric has pushed other auto manufacturers to follow suit. Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG, and Daimler AG have also outlined plans to venture into the electric car market – a sign that the auto industry believes the internal-combustion engine’s days are numbered.
With vehicles becoming more electric, big oil companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have been increasing their interests in finding and developing natural gas, a lower-carbon fuel, that is used to make electricity and that is likely to be in higher demand if electric vehicles take off. Shell has said global oil demand will peak sometime in the next five to 15 years, a trend driven in part by the predicted rise of electric vehicles.
Volvo is shaking up the energy and auto industries. The auto manufacturer, owned by China’s Geely Holding Group, now has plans for its entire lineup of new vehicles to be hybrids or electric by 2019, giving rival Tesla Inc. a big new competitor and raising new questions about future oil demand, according to a Wall Street Journal article.
“The Scandinavian company isn’t the only deep-pocketed rival planning to compete with the Silicon Valley pioneer. Nearly all global vehicle makers are mounting their own electric-car push, powered by ever-cheaper prices for batteries, stricter emissions rules and lucrative government incentives for customers,” the Journal reports.
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