Paths to a cleaner future


In this article

Paths to a cleaner future

The vehicles we drive

A wide range of technologies are promising increasingly cost-efficient reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy demand from transport, particularly road transport, in the coming years. In addition, the transport sector is working together to improve air quality.

  • Fuel efficiency
    Fuel efficiency in conventional vehicles globally holds significant potential for emissions reduction in a cost-efficient manner.

Source: Outlook for Energy 2018

  • Hybrids, advanced diesels and CNG/LNG
    These types of vehicles are foreseen to rise significantly as a proportion of new light duty vehicle sales in Europe. These will contribute to both reduced emissions and increased air quality, particularly in urban environments.
  • Electric light duty vehicles
    Both battery and cell powered light duty vehicles will become a more important part of our multi-modal transport future, as further development tackles technical and economic hurdles.

Source: Outlook for Energy 2018

  • Heavy duty vehicles
    These vehicles will remain at the forefront of fuel economy, as operators have significant economic incentives to implement measures.

The fuels we use

We expect liquid petroleum fuels to remain the primary transportation fuels for the foreseeable future. ExxonMobil is also active in research to develop advanced biofuels and in producing natural gas.

  • Oil-based fuels
    The vast majority of transportation energy needs today are met by oil, with gasoline being the most prominent fuel. We expect that oil will still be predominant in 2040 – close to 90 percent of transportation energy – though we expect the product mix to shift significantly toward diesel fuel, driven in large part by strong growth in commercial transportation and relatively flat gasoline demand. Today, diesel accounts for about 35 percent of the total energy used for transportation. By 2040, we expect this share to be about 40 percent, surpassing gasoline.
(Shaded ranges are indicative of potential shifts in demand relative to base Outlook)
Source: Outlook for Energy 2018
  • Advanced biofuels
    Advanced biofuels derived from biomass and waste are currently limited by low technical maturity, poor scalability and high cost. ExxonMobil is pursuing research in a broad array of advanced biofuels options, including basic science research to develop algal biofuels with Synthetic Genomics, Inc.
  • Natural gas
    Natural gas will continue to play an important role in demand for transport in the coming decade. As a major producer of natural gas, ExxonMobil will continue to explore ways to meet future demand for natural gas in both marine and land transportation.
  • Hydrogen fuel cell technology 
    Carbonate fuel cell technology has the potential to generate significant volumes of hydrogen, which could help produce higher molecular weight hydrocarbons for transportation fuels. Fuel cell carbon capture technology still has a way to go, but as a breakthrough innovation it could help meet global energy demands with fewer greenhouse gases.

The infrastructure and technology we rely on

Much low-hanging fruit exists in the transport sector, allowing quick, cost effective and lasting emissions reductions. City infrastructure plays an important role, and vehicles can be enabled to achieve their full potential in fuel economy if technology, policy, and investment are cohesively directed to improve transport infrastructure and intelligent traffic control.

  • Efficient traffic management 
    Managing traffic efficiently means less congestion and less fuel wasted. See how smart technologies, such as ‘green wave’ traffic flow systems, can help.
  • Driver education
    Good habits can promote both safety and fuel efficiency. FuelsEurope’s Save More than Fuel project provides efficient driving tips to help Europeans reduce fuel consumption and contribute to cleaner and safer behavior.
  • Good road and infrastructure conditions
    Good roads, urban design and new smart traffic technologies can all improve safety and fuel economy.
  • See more about how infrastructure can help reduce emissions.