Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Surge in electric cars may blindside big oil: report

Surge in electric cars may blindside big oil: report
Wheels 24 article on a study predicting for the growth of electric cars and the decline of oil demand.
Falling costs of electric cars and renewable technology may halt growth in oil demand from as early as 2020, they argued in a report.
 On my imaginary timeline that sounds about right. With long range affordable electric cars coming out now, electric vehicles will certainly start making serious inroads into the internal combustion engine share of the market in the nest three years. However the report then seems to be less optimistic about exponential growth after that.
By 2035, that figure could quintuple, with electric cars accounting for a third of the road transport market, said the report, jointly issued by financial think tank Carbon Tracker and the Grantham Institute, both in London.
Honestly it's not very clear if they mean all vehicles or just commercial delivery and transport vehicles. I think whatever it is, closer to two thirds of vehicles will be electric by 2035. Once the price of electric vehicles drops below that of their petrol or diesel counterparts, then obviously most people will go for the electric option primarily for the saving in fuel and maintenance costs.
"We assume the electric vehicles will be cheaper than oil-burning combustion engine vehicles from 2020 onward,"
According to that I can see electric vehicle sales outstripping petrol and diesel vehicle sales in less than a handful of years. The average lifespan of a vehicle is about 8 years, so by the end of the 2020s electric vehicles should be in the majority. I think in developing countries the change over to electric vehicles will be even more rapid. As the cost of solar power comes down it will be far easier to build solar charging stations in remote places than petrol stations. They'll be no need for tankers to deliver fuel, electricity will be stored from solar panels in batteries, ready to recharge vehicles at any time, day or night. Typically oil companies like BP remain stubbornly pessimistic:
In 2035, electric vehicles will only make up six percent of the global car fleet, it said in its 2017 Energy Outlook.
The oil industry must underestimate the average persons intelligence if they believe people will not only, from 2020, pay more for a internal combustion engined vehicle but then also pay more for the fuel needed to use it.

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