Do you notice those thin pink and salmon-colored lines representing plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles up in that chart up there? Yeah, it took us a while to spot them, too. That's pretty much what the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) thinks about the prospects of worldwide adoption of plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles in the near-term – or, heck, pretty much long-term – future.
OPEC writes that "pure plug-in electric cars are unlikely to gain a significant market share in the foreseeable future."
According to OPEC's 396-page World Oil Outlook report ( PDF), plug-in vehicles will represent what's essentially a fraction of a fraction of new-car purchases for the next quarter-century or so. Sure, hybrids are going to take an increasingly large chunk, as well natural-gas vehicles, but plug-ins? Not so much.
In fact, OPEC writes that "pure plug-in electric cars are unlikely to gain a significant market share in the foreseeable future" in part because of relatively high purchase prices, single-charge range limits and questionable battery performance in inclement weather (if you're looking for that part, the section starts on page 100 of the report, which is actually page 126 of the PDF). Of course, if the rate of plug-in vehicle adoption sped up at a more rapid rate, there'd be less of a need for OPEC, wouldn't there? Check out the report here and draw your own conclusions.