What if every car sold in the world was an electric vehicle? | RenewEconomy

What if every car sold in the world was an electric vehicle?

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BP considers scenario where only electric vehicles are sold after 2040. It also considers peak oil, ponders the rise of shared car ownership, and predicts a faster rise for renewables and faster decline for coal. But it still doesn’t get it.

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Big Oil is finally contemplating the unthinkable, and until recently what was also unimaginable for them.

What if every car solar across the globe was an electric vehicle? What would that do to their trillion-dollar business model?

Well, they’ve looked at it. They’ve crunched the numbers. But they are not telling.

At least that is the sense you get BP’s latest Energy Outlook, now a major annual event that gives an insight into how quickly Big Oil is prepared to concede that the energy transition will occur.

Because of who they are, and what’s at stake, you can reliably assume that the predicted transition would never be too quick to scare off their investors.  And that holds true in this latest edition.

Still, the latest BP Energy Outlook ponders this very question: What if – in 2040 – internal combustion engines were banned across the world and every car was electric?

It’s a scenario that is a decade late from some analysts, such as Stanford University’s Tony Seba, but the fact that it is being considered at all tells you why BP is already starting to roll out EV charging stations across its petrol station network  in the UK.

What did BP find with a zero-ICE (internal combustion engine) scenario? Well, to the relief of their shareholders, not much.

BP says that oil demand would be affected, and total oil consumption would fall by more than half to 8  million barrels of oil per day from 18mb/d – a loss of only 10 per cent of total worldwide oil demand.

But here’s the thing. BP only considered the impact up until the ban, which is why that green line in that top graph doesn’t go down much.

It is hanging on to the fact that if a ban is imposed in 2040, then up until that point, at least one third of the fleet would still be petrol or diesel.

And the impact would surely be felt after the ban. At least they conceded that there would be such a thing as peak oil demand, even if it is seen to arrive two decades later than most others.

But here’s another important point. BP also did not consider was the electrification of other transport either, some of which, like trucks, – hello Tesla Semi – is likely to occur much more quickly because the economics, particularly for fleet operators, are so overwhelming.

Like so many of these scenarios, from other Big Oil companies, to major coal corporations and the International Energy Agency, these forecasts are designed so as not to frighten the horses.

BP’s base scenario, now called Evolving Transition (ET) is – like so many from interests that represent or have close ties to the fossil fuels industry – based around the assumption that the world does little to reduce emissions.

Indeed, in BP’s ET scenario, overall emissions rise 10 per cent by 2040. And for that reason, they are unacceptable.

BP entertains a couple of other scenarios, an FT (fast transition) and an EFT (extra fast transition). What is fascinating, however, is the changes that BP is making to its forecasts.

Over the last few years, it has significantly upgraded its estimates for EVs, for wind and solar, and downgraded its assumptions on oil (only slightly) and coal (quite a lot).

It even concedes Stanford Uni’s Seba’s projections that much of the change in the future of road transportation would be driven by autonomous driving and shared vehicles.

This is Seba’s central thesis, see our story Death spiral for cars: By 2030, you probably won’t own one. His suggestion that most people may not own their own car horrified Trump’s America, you can read the comments to the article).

BP sees the trend (see the graph above), but expects it (read, wants it) to be slower than suggested by Seba.

But it’s interesting that BP accepts kilometres travelled by EVs will be 30 per cent, more than double the share of actual EVs, because of the greater use of shared autonomous driving. That looks like being a game changer.

Carbon Brief did an interesting analysis, pointing out that the main scenario in BP Energy Outlook shows renewables rising four-fold to 2,000 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) by 2035. This is an upwards revision of around 400Mtoe compared to last year’s main forecast.

The projections also show, for the first time, global oil demand peaking by 2040. And it projects coal will peak before 2030, an even earlier projection than it gave last year. These graphs – above and below – shows how the BP estimates have evolved since 2011. The red line is the latest.

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  1. Hettie 3 years ago

    I find it bemusing, incomprehensible even, that industries like coal and oil, which must have seen which way the world is moving, accelerating now, must have seen this for years, have done so little to prepare for the inevitable.
    They could have redefined themselves as being not in the coal, or oil industry, but in the energy industry.
    Had they done so ten years ago, they would now be part of the solution, and poised to transition smoothly to renewable energy.
    Instead, they have chosen to deny reality, and are a very big part of the problem.
    Don’t expect any sympathy from me, folks. You were ready to throw the planet into the furnace in pursuit of short term profits.
    Now you will be the ones to burn.

    • solarguy 3 years ago

      Agreed and something I have been saying for years.

    • Peter Campbell 3 years ago

      As I recall it, perhaps inaccurately, years ago, BP rebranded as Beyond Petroleum. They got into making PV etc. The idea was that they would project themselves as an ‘energy company’, not a ‘petroleum company’. Then they got a new CEO.

      • Hettie 3 years ago

        I suspect that today’s shareholders will be less than ecstatic that the sensible course was discontinued.

      • Richard T 3 years ago

        I worked for BP back then. As I recall it you recall it correctly.

        • neroden 3 years ago

          Browne, the CEO who wanted to move “beyond petroleum” was ousted in a sex scandal. Hayward promptly shut down every business but petroleum.

          Not coincidentally I sold my BP stock.

      • Rod 3 years ago

        I’ve got some 18 year old BP 80W panels on my roof, still going strong.

    • mick 3 years ago

      true but instead they chose to buy governments and pervert democracies

      • Hettie 3 years ago

        Wealth brings power, and power corrupts.

        • mick 3 years ago


    • hydrophilia 3 years ago

      People invest in BP if they believe oil will be a good investment. While some BP investors might want to see it change, most would be dismayed to see funds go into a new technology that COULD be going to them as dividends. If they want to hedge their technologies, they also buy Tesla and other more pure change stocks.
      Oil companies could say the end is coming and we are quitting exploration and focusing on wrapping things up and selling off the company to give the shareholders as much value as possible.

      • Hettie 3 years ago

        And who, in their right minds, would buy those srand ed asset? To sell, you must find a buyer, which is why the smart money is leaving coal in droves, while there are still mugs enough to buy. Soon, no one will touch it. Super funds are getting out, afraid of being sued for failure of fiduciary duty. Funds that have abandoned fossil fuels are performing MUCH better than funds which have kept their fossil holdings.
        Banks won’t touch new coal, and if they agree it’s bad news, you’d better believe it.
        The writing is on the wall, large and clear.

        • hydrophilia 3 years ago

          I agree. On the other hand, how is a company like BP supposed to unload all its FF assets and become a clean power company? Does it keep pretending there is a good future, does it wrap things up, or does it try to be both a FF and a clean power co? I see no good options for them.

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            Well hello! That’s the world of business. Companies go bust every day. Big companies.
            What they are supposed to do is conduct frequent SWOT analyses, looking at Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. And figure out what to do for the best.
            The classic example of a company that failed to do that is Kodak.
            Digital photography is a passing fad, they said.
            Renewables will never be a threat, said the fossil fools.
            It is not my job to work out how they should save their sorry arses. It is their job to do that. But they are going down, and it won’t be pretty.

          • Joe 3 years ago

            I’m with you Hettie, let them go bust!

          • Marg1 3 years ago

            Me too Hettie!

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            Some oil companies may decide to diversify into battery technology. It is, after all, the new transport fuel. Just as some coal miners in Australia may chose to mine lithium, cobalt zinc instead.
            What they choose to do is up to them.
            One thing is clear. Denial is death.

          • Farmer Dave 3 years ago

            Spot on, Hettie. Not only will the companies that fail to transition out of fossil fuels go down, we need them to go down, and the sooner the better. Jeremy Leggett writes some good stuff on this – he left the oil industry to work for Greenpeace, then set up one of the UK’s first solar companies.

          • Hettie 3 years ago

            Agree 100%

          • neroden 3 years ago

            Google the history of Nucor…. or Berkshire Hathaway (a clothing mill company!) Transitions *can* be made.

          • Carl Raymond S 3 years ago

            Nintendo made playing cards, I believe.

    • Pedro 3 years ago

      The fact is that most peoples super annuation and other retirement funds are all invested in companies like BP. So when these companies share price drops or plummets due to lack of FF demand it will be pensioners and retirees that will hurt the most.

      I have divested from FF super investments and have seen some better than expected returns so far. But I take that with a grain of salt.

      • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

        Trustees have a fiduciary obligation not to take foreseen risks – those hurt by trustees failing to account for the now most likely fall in value of FF company shares would probably have grounds to seek compensation.

        • neroden 3 years ago

          Same with trustees of charities or universities. But most are still squandering their endowments on dangerous, worthless fossil fuel stocks.

      • Hettie 3 years ago

        No salt needed, Pedro. The figures are convincing.
        There are super funds that have no fossils or other toxic companies in their portfolios. Changing funds is a piece of cake. Just contact the fund you want to change to, and they do it all . They will extract your balance from the fund you are leaving, and will also gather up other accounts you may have.
        Your employer is required to honour your choice of fund.
        At least that’s the way things were a few (10) years ago. May have changed now.
        If things haven’t changed, anyone who stays with a retail fund with a big fossil component rather than make a phone call to change to an ethical, NFP fund, deserves the losses they will incur.

    • Matthew O'Brien 3 years ago

      Simple as that (this). Its all about those quarterly accounts – shareholders – and the old “not on my watch”. Market eats its kids.

  2. Carl Raymond S 3 years ago

    Lol. More straight lines. Make these linear forecasters stay after class and write the word ‘exponential’ 300 times. Then on to lesson two, ‘tipping points’.

    • Nick Kemp 3 years ago

      Indeed – they need to discover the S curve very soon or they’ll be having a Kodak moment

    • Ren Stimpy 3 years ago

      We can extrapolate a serious growth trend for EVs given their cost decline … AND using the future expected depleted demand from fossil fuel players (e.g. BP) trend for fossil fuels albeit a ridiculous fuckingston base line.

      To borrow a gag from Upstart Crow, where would BP put the coconuts if they actually played it for real?

  3. Kay Schieren 3 years ago

    There are so many in the world who just won’t adapt – as long as they can put it on others to carry the can for them, they will. Australia is probably the worst example when our long term performance is considered. The federal government has always deliberately looked back at the 20th century, rather than plan forward and implement constructive change. I’ve been on off-grid solar for 30 years – a struggle on my minute income – while the institutionalised failures in our political, financial and industrial realm have been trying to turn the tide back for reasons which are probably closely associated with personal comfort zones, gross ignorance and laziness, a lack of vision and grunting stupidity from an alcohol affected culture. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/547753c45550c8c3990d58c0076ac1ec4e5108124e00cacdf21974db5b296f08.jpg

    • Joe 3 years ago

      Kay, I love your solar array, no worries with that shading problem on your rooftop. Is that a recumbent tricycle I see in the foreground…marvellous piece of machinery. I’m a bicycle rider myself…2 wheels only.

  4. john 3 years ago

    As another has mentioned the S Curve.
    What this means is a slow take up then an ever increasing take up of the technology.

    The ICE Vehicle is an old idea and is being taken over by the original Vehicle a battery powered vehicle.
    Well perhaps i am wrong on that mite be a steamer am not sure.

    Why efficiency.

    A Battery Electric Vehicle is so much more energy efficient.
    This means the consumer is going to have a vehicle or a consumer item that costs less to use as simple as that.

    When you get a consumer item that costs less to use the game is over that is how i see it.

    • neroden 3 years ago

      Funny piece of trivia: the battery-powered train locomotive was invented before the steam locomotive.

      And before the rechargeable battery. And before the electric generator. (Which is why it didn’t catch on at the time! Building a new battery for each trip was not very cost-effective.)

  5. solarguy 3 years ago

    They are simply not wanting to scare their share holders, as you say Giles. When you think about it, it’s their way of making a smooth transition so the share holders keep their confidence, because most transport runs on liquid fuel namely oil and will be for a good time yet, they don’t want shareholders to disinvest on mass, if they can show they have a handle on the situation.

    Should they have done this earlier, well yes, but as long they keep the shareholders happy and don’t spook them until they work this out, the better. After all can you imagine the drama to the world economy and current world transport as we know it, if they and other oil majors cock it up.

  6. Roger Brown 3 years ago

    They will fight back , use dirty tactics , slag off renewables etc etc . Just like Morgan Stanley acticle today , about Lithium glut by 2025 ?. I think it was UBS , that ran the same Bull shite story about 2-3 mths ago.

  7. eric 3 years ago

    The EV revolution is driven 100% by Tesla and the Chinese and a few other progressive countries.

    How quickly the revolution happens is dependent on how quickly they can ramp up production of electric vehicles. The incumbents have no financial incentive to go EV other to keep up with Tesla and the Chinese. It is still not clear when EV’s will be cheaper to produce than icev’s. But taking into account capital expenditure on plant alone, they would have to be considerably cheaper to produce for legacy to change on pure economics, especially considering the loss of after sales servicing and parts.

    Tesla will have difficultly in selling 1Mil by 2020(that is their goal), they may achieve it. But beyond that they will have to build more factories and that takes time. If Tesla get to 3-5million vehicles per year by 2030 that will be a phenomenal achievement. So the current ice manufacturers will only need to make just enough vehicles to compete with Tesla, but not enough to satisfy demand, guaranteeing they sell their more profitable ice’s for as long as humanly possible.
    Of course another financial crisis, quite likely considering the debt bubble we are in, may see the end of Tesla as it exists today. I’m sure it would continue on in some form ,but not as aggressively.

    How quickly China insists on phasing out the ICE is key, but when is that?
    And besides, the legacy manufacturers can confine most of their EV sales to China and other mandated countries and limit them outside the country. EV’s at any kind of scale aren’t even on the horizon in Australia.

    So my conclusion is that Seba is way off the mark in his prediction. Unfortunately, Tesla can’t scale enough within that time frame which is the only driver for legacy auto outside China.
    Perhaps between 2025-2030 the economics will be compelling enough for legacy to go full steam, but it will take many years beyond that to build the capacity to make 100% EV’s imo.

    • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

      Energy security! Australia has none, so even a largely ineffective hostile action would cause enormous economic damage and a change in attitude. Once started it would be hard to stop.

      • eric 3 years ago

        We have plenty of gas we could use! Not hard to convert the ice to gas.

        • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

          Limited range on CNG and not a cheap conversion ($12k). For Qld the cost per km would be 8x an EV. Also no infrastructure for tank filling.

          • eric 3 years ago

            Seems like a fairly drastic way of converting to electric. I think economics will do it in time.

        • aussiearnie 3 years ago

          How about the cost (and time) of converting the current liquid fuel infrastructure to gas? You may be able to convert your vehicle but you can’t fill it up…

          • Eric 3 years ago

            It was merely a flippant comment in reply to a ridiculous hypothetical situation, where we need to go electric because our fuel might be cut-off in a war or something.
            In such a case it would probable be easier to convert the existing cars to gas rather than build an entire electric vehicle production chain from scratch!

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Your remark was ignorant rather than flippant. Australia has a mere few weeks of supply. A terrorist attack on Kernel would most likely lead to a run on supplies and considerable chaos. It would take ad long and almost the same cost to convert to CNG as to electric.

    • Mark Roest 3 years ago

      There are hundreds of manufacturers of all kinds of electric vehicles, and many do a very good job. An electric motor plant costs a lot less than an ICE plant. There is potential for collective hypergrowth in their sales, as Tony predicts.

      • eric 3 years ago

        Maybe. But for hypergrowth in EV sales, we would need to see strong advertising of the merits of EV’s from legacy right now, it’s not going to happen by osmosis. I very much doubt legacy will do a marketing blitz on EV’s to change consumer perceptions, en masse, until they can make a decent profit out of it. And I have seen no evidence of an advertising blitz, just enough to keep abreast of Tesla.
        As for Tesla they can’t advertise, because they can’t make enough cars to satisfy demand and that will continue for years, probably. So in five years there will still be lots of people who don’t know what a Tesla is, or much about electric cars.

        Without legacy fully on board right now, full electric in ten years can’t happen. And clearly they are not fully on board. Most of what they are doing is marketing spin and vaporware while they keep one hand firmly on the handbrake.

        It’s not going to happen.

        • TweedCAN 3 years ago

          Another major restriction on e-cars will be recharging infrastructure. So called “Fast Charging” stations are a misnomer and the turnover too slow to be cost competitive. Over 40% of people in NSW live in units or rented dwellings and will not have access to solar or dedicated off-peak charging. Without widespread, daytime recharging where you park then the demand for e-vehicles will be restricted and recharging largely powered by fossil fuels. You might get coordinated transition planning in some countries but not here or in the USA.

          • Eric 3 years ago

            Yes, that is right. The Lib/Nats will do all they can to slow the introduction of
            EV’s. Which makes it much harder for people wanting to invest in the area.
            Until big auto decides it’s profitable nothing will happen here. Even then we will probably be dumping ground for unwanted ICEV
            inventory for years.

          • TweedCAN 3 years ago

            We will have to develop solutions without the government. Our initial surveys show that people will pay modest time charges for covered solar parking whether or not they have an e-car. The pay back period for this type of infrastructure is under 2 years. It is not a complete answer but it could substantially help with the recharging problem.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Indeed! In fact when BCC raised the possibility of residents paying for street parking outside their homes I suggested the option of them being able to co-invest and share income from street parking shelters with panels.

          • Alex 3 years ago

            In Hobart the council is looking at parking meters attached to sensors in the road which detect how long a car has been parked there. Would it be possible for a council to install induction-charging infrastructure in the roadway that charges via a parking-meter like arrangement? That could reduce pollution levels in cities while encouraging the uptake of EVs from those who do not have undercover parking, while giving the councils some extra income as well..

          • TweedCAN 3 years ago

            Induction charging may be more convenient however it is less efficient, more limited in charge rate and does not provide additional renewable energy for the recharging. I think it will be too costly to role out at any scale. I understand that Scandinavian countries use plug in parking (to prevent oil and fuel freezing) without problems.

          • Eric 3 years ago

            Nice idea and good luck, because once the Libs get in they would just rip all the wires out from the roadways and make sure they couldn’t be rewired later.

          • Eric 3 years ago

            I like your thinking. There is so much vacant tarmac waiting for covered solar. And who wouldn’t prefer parking undercover!
            Potential bonanza if the economic model is right and it can be scaled easily

          • neroden 3 years ago

            California has passed the most crucial law for that.

            In California, any apartment owner who provides parking for their tenants MUST allow any tenant to install a charging point for their electric car (at the tenant’s expense, and the landlord gets to keep it if the tenant moves). The landlord cannot say no.

            This is the basic law which is required. After enough landlords get a kick in the pants from progressive tenants, they’ll figure out that installing car chargers is good for the landlord and they’ll do it.

          • TweedCAN 3 years ago

            Good idea however most people will still charge overnight using predominantly fossil fuel power and adding load to local transformers. Better to have solar charging where they park during the day. An e-car doing average NSW kilometres draws the extra night time load of a 2 person household. Big batteries and pumped hydro can help with the demand time shift but do not provide additional RE or reduce local transformer loads.

        • Peter Campbell 3 years ago

          A fair bit can happen “by osmosis”. I have been doing EV show and tell events for the last decade, generally standing next to the car I converted in 2008/9 and latterly next to either that or our iMiEV. I have noticed a shift every year in the questions and general attitude of the vaguely interested I would get to talk to. Whereas 10 years ago people would ask if I could keep up with traffic, now they tell me about awesome performance in drag racing. Whereas 10 years ago people would criticise EVs as only shifting the emissions to a coal power station, now they generally accept that the grid is getting greener and EVs fit in with that. Some hope to do some of their charging from their own solar. Many now say they want their next car to be electric but worry about price. Ten years ago hardly anyone thought they would want an EV. People still think they need “infrastructure” and many don’t yet think about substituting the one of their two cars that never leaves town. They are still a bit confused about plug-in hybrids but at least they have heard of them now.

          • Eric 3 years ago

            Yeah true. But there is nothing like a giant ad campaign. You could render the ICEV totally undesirable overnight, even with a halfwit running the campaign.

            But atm their is no benefit for the manufacturers in doing that.

            Not happening!

    • Greg Hudson 3 years ago

      “especially considering the loss of after sales servicing and parts”
      I created a software company many many years ago competing against other companies (huge ones) that were selling for huge prices, and ongoing yearly fees. My software had a low purchase price (per user) and free upgrades. It stood the test of time for many years until the GFC. I can easily imagine Tesla doing the same in the long term. Once they can start churning out Model 3’s in serious numbers, they can begin lowering prices, which in turn will create an even larger market share for them (much like my company did).

      • Eric 3 years ago

        No doubt they will have backlog orders for as many cars as they can make.
        But how do they make millions of cars in a hurry?
        Maybe they will figure it out, we shall see!

  8. Peter Lynch 3 years ago

    I have thought about it too – and finally, I think the answer is plain and simple. the majority management/decision makers are generally older and they are looking quarter to quarter at their stock options (likely the largest, by far, segment of their retirement “nestegg” ) So they will do as little as possible to rock the boat. Corrupt capitalism vs rational thinking and the winner is CC/./////:(

  9. Ian 3 years ago

    Lots of challenges along the road to decarbonising transport. The first was realising that there are viable substitutes to ICE vehicles. Toyota with its hybrids, Nissan with its Leaf and Tesla with its high performance cars. The second is acknowledging the scale of the liquid fuel/ICE vehicle problem. 100 million new vehicles sold every year. Assuming that lithium battery vehicles will be the substitute for ICE, a la Tesla, can this be done? Here are some stats as ballpark figures 1kg lithium content per 1kWh battery capacity. Roughly 50 kWh per vehicle. ie 5000 million kg of lithium ( content) 5 million tonnes of lithium required per year. How much lithium is currently extracted? In 2016 it was 35 000 tonnes. World reserves were considered to be 40 million tonnes in 2017. Tesla’s factory was planned for a production of 35 GWh of battery packs . That is equivalent to the whole world’s production of lithium and apparently will produce only 1/2 million cars.

    No wonder the likes of BP can come up with rosy future scenarios for their shareholders – plenty of oil demand until 2040 – way past the average shareholder’s lifespan.

    What are the solutions to this , maybe not so obvious, dilemma?
    1. Reduce the demand for ICE-substitute vehicles
    2. Increase the resources needed for batteries

    At the state of play right now lithium supplies cannot even remotely cover all personal and commercial transport needs. Lithium, one could argue, is to renewables what carbon capture and storage is to fossil fuels. Is Elon Musk leading us on a search for the Holy Grail? Will the likes of Chilean and Australian lithium mines rise to the lithium supply challenge? Will other battery chemistries save the day? Can the world reorganise it’s commuting economy so that the demand for ICE-substitutes is substantially reduced?

    The task of reorganising whole cities, economies and life habits is massive. Will Uber, autonomous cars and electric bikes cut it? Do we all need to do a china and crisscross the countryside with high speed rail and undermine our cities with subway systems? Perhaps the AI singularity will make commuting totally unnecessary as people stay at home, drink beer and chat, while machines do all the work?

    The gigafactory mentality has delightfully rattled the liquid fossil fuel and ICE- vehicle industry , but once the flashes of fireworks and the glistening of tinsil have faded, the real work of retiring oil will have to begin.

    • Greg Hudson 3 years ago

      Forget Toyota’s ‘hybrids’… They are just window dressed ‘electrified’ ICE vehicles. Wait until they start producing ‘real’ BEV’s (Battery Electric Vehicles) instead.

    • David Osmond 3 years ago

      Hi Ian, I think you’ve mixed tonnage of lithium and tonnage of lithium carbonate (or equivalent), so lithium supply isn’t as dire as you think. A car battery has about 1kg of lithium carbonate per kWh, and world production is about 200,000 tonnes. Alternatively, the car battery has about 0.2kg of lithium per kWh, and world production is about 40,000 tonnes.

      • Ian 3 years ago

        Thankyou for setting me straight, the figures are hard to obtain and the use of the terms LCE (lithium carbonate equivalent) and lithium content can appear in the same articles without much distinction. LCE is 5 times the weight of lithium content. Reworking the figures then: 0.2kgx 50kWh per car x 100 million new vehicles a year = 1million tonnes of lithium content

        More achievable but still no where possible with existing mining production.

        Definitely an interesting story and this will probably unfold very quickly over the next 5 to 10 years as humanity seeks to decarbonise transport.

        Transportation of people in particular is seen as a single solution problem ie either all public/shared transport or all private vehicles , but the solution is to look at all options and use and promote each modality according to its most appropriate application. For instance inner cities are terrible places for personal vehicles , congestion, parking , etc and public transport is less than useless in sparsely populated rural areas. The solution is not to force cars and highways onto city centres and also not to spend countless millions on public transport in rural areas. The suburban design of most cities is specifically aimed at promoting personal cars apparently and is now set in concrete. It’s so sad to see new greenfield suburban developments following this outmoded design. Newer suburbs don’t even have the stretching room and open spaces that was so appealing of the original suburban estates . A thorough review of urban design is needed as a part of decarbonisation of transport.

        • EdBCN 3 years ago

          It should actually not be too difficult for some of the biggest suppliers who ‘mine’ their lithium from brine in Chile to expand their production. And there is a lot of prospecting and other development already going forward all over the world. It remains to be seen if there will be a lithium crunch and how sever it might be. But my guess is that it will never even get close to as bad as the’06-’08 solar PV silicon shortage. And the cost of lithium is a smaller part of the cost of batteries than silicon was of solar cells.

          • neroden 3 years ago

            It’s surprisingly quick to set up a lithium refinery for brines; it just requires financing, and not that much. Given financing, I know a bunch which would be producing in 12 months.

            Cobalt mining is harder, takes about 3 years from financing I’d say, so we might see a 5-year cobalt price spike (depending on how long it takes the financing to come through).

          • EdBCN 3 years ago

            As a matter of fact Lithium stocks like Albermarle have been dropping pretty steeply recently on overproduction fears.
            SQM has just announced some big new production increases.

          • Eric 3 years ago

            There is a lot of scoping going on all over the world for Lithium. Turns out there is Lithium everywhere if you want it! 🙂
            Same for Cobalt. But Cobalt price is dependent on what is happening in the Congo, and this is very hard to predict! You put your money down and you take your chances.

        • David Osmond 3 years ago

          cheers Ian, I agree it is confusing when articles don’t make it clear if they’re talking about lithium or LCE. It will certainly be challenging to ramp up supply to match the needs of 100 million cars per year, and even more so if lithium is required for other storage requirements. But it is worth noting that supply is currently ramping up quickly. The following link forecasts a ~70% increase in 5 years (2015-2020).


  10. Mike Dill 3 years ago
    • john 3 years ago

      Exactly this kind of action will accelerate the decline of Diesel Engine Vehicles very suddenly.
      When large cities just ban the entry of these vehicles the decline in usefulness will ensure sales plummet.

    • Joe 3 years ago

      The big Euro cities, not just in Germany, are constantly exceeding the agreed limits for pollution so the German Court decision is a bit of a no brainer. The auto makers had their chance to comply with air quality standards willingly, now the issue will be forced and right on cue their squealing has begun. Germany has 15 million passenger diesel vehicles and 2 million commercial diesel vehicles on its roads which is about one third of all the vehicles on German roads. It isn’t quite diesel’s end just yet as more recent diesel makes do apparently comply with the current emissions standards. But as these emissions standards are progressively tightened then it will be the….END.

  11. Kevin Brown 3 years ago

    My next car will definitely be an EV. In the meantime I drive a 2 cylinder 900cc Alfa Romeo MiTo Twin Air. It only uses 4.1 l of fuel/100km so I indulge myself by filling it up with 98 octane ULP. It is the most fun car I have ever owned!

  12. Sally Newell 3 years ago

    What about BP changing their name to MeTime. Roll up to charge, either the super fast option, or for somewhat slower onsite options include personal services (haircuts, massage, beauty..), web and teleconferencing, snacks, cafes, as well as the convenience store model.
    This could be attached or work in synergy with shopping centres and supermarkets.
    In Japan onsite hydrogen manufacture is rolling out. BP could also invest in wind farms, solar etc.
    Surely shareholders would be impressed with a forward looking company.

  13. Prof Ray Wills 3 years ago

    While BP says oil demand peaks late 2030s, my 2018 updated timeline for an electric future is shorter.

    A lot shorter.

    My revised projection brings on peak oil for 2022 with the inevitable oil exit starting 2023.

    The swap to EVs will IMO be enhanced by convergence of autonomous technology, accelerating demand for new (electric) vehicles, and at the same time accelerating retirements removing less safe, more polluting cars from the road. A further spike will come from changing ownership models through carsharing, ridesharing, and AI integrated transit.


    • neroden 3 years ago

      Professor Wills! Nice to see you here, I’ve read your stuff.

      My projections make electric cars approximately 100% of new car market share, worldwide, in 2030.

      My projection also shows peak oil demand in the 2022-2023 timeframe. But since oil supply is declining due to well depletion, the final glut in oil (where it is unprofitable to dig any new wells) doesn’t happen until 2023-2025.

      I’ve been puzzling over when the price of oil collapses; it has to collapse when the final glut happens, but it’s likely to collapse preemptively.

      A more interesting question is when the shrinkage of the gasoline supply chain, with the elimination of economies of scale, starts to cause the retail price of gasoline to go up *while* the crude oil price goes down. I think we’ll see this clearly in the 2025-2030 period.

  14. trackdaze 3 years ago

    They need to worry about the maturing and retirement of vehicles that preceed current vehicle efficiency standards in various juristictions (circa 2005) once this trickle becomes a flood peak oil will loom much larger.

    Youll be hard pressed and rocks in your head to buy a non hybrid or electric bus very soon.

    Electrification of heavy and long haulage will take some time but it will come first as 48v or higher motor generator units that will take a 5-10% chunk off the fuel required. In concert with all else its enough to decimate the oil market.

  15. aussiearnie 3 years ago

    If all BP has looked at is regulation and not price curves for EV then I think they’re in for a bit of a surprise… When the sticker price of an EV is less than that of an ICE, and it is much cheaper to run, why would anyone want an ICE vehicle?

    • Hettie 3 years ago

      Yes, but the sticker price of EVs is way higher than ICE. For now..

  16. Brad 3 years ago

    Good luck with that in Australia with our electricity prices

  17. JHM 3 years ago

    The basic problem with BP’s attempt at designing stress scenarios is that the core driver behind EVs is battery packs. They need to be modelling battery pack costs and production volumes. From that you can model where all these batteries will go. Some will go to private passenger EVs, but others will go into heavy duty vehicles, marine vessels, aircraft and grid storage. So the battery will compete with gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, jet fuel, and natural gas. It is all a question of which applications will create the most economic value at a particular point in time. The dire consequence for BP, then is that almost all of the products they make will be under price pressure. So the prices of crude and natural gas will be enormously squeezed. Production will be curtailed because prices will be too low to support higher levels of production. This is the sort of real economic stress testing that they will not reveal to shareholders.

  18. Don McMillan 3 years ago

    The outlook on natural gas is very strong this is due to the fact it is essential to renewables. What are we doing in Australia, encouraging renewables and placing bans and moratoriums on Natural Gas exploration. Result is a very expensive nd unreliable network.

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