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David Yager

David Yager

Based in Calgary, David Yager is a former oilfield services executive and the principal of Yager Management Ltd., an oilfield services management consultancy. He has…

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Electric Vehicles No Threat To Oil Prices Anytime Soon

EV

Hardly a day goes by without another media report about the impending demise of the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) as petroleum powered cars and trucks are replaced by uber-clean Electric Vehicles (EV). It is just a matter of time before EVs start to materially reduce global oil demand thereby capping a meaningful oil price recovery now and creating an ever-shrinking industry in the future. EVs are yet another reason why the decline of petroleum production and consumption is inevitable.

Except it isn’t true. Your writer read dozens of articles and attended a conference on the future of EVs. The evidence overwhelming proves they pose no threat to oil prices anytime soon. Following is a summary of the major points.

• The forecasts for EV growth are all over the map. Late last year investment research outfit Morningstar figured EVs will be 10% of new vehicle sales by 2025 (only 8 years from now!) compared to 1% in 2015. Washington’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted in January cumulative sales of EVs (cars and light trucks) would push 1.4 million by 2025. Last month Morgan Stanley predicted 1 billion EVs would be sold by 2050 and 70% of European vehicles would be electric. Bloomberg New Energy Finance wrote a glowing report on EVs in early July titled The Electric Car Revolution is Accelerating stating “…adoption of emission-free vehicles will happen more quickly than previously estimated because the cost of building cars is falling so fast. The seismic shift will see cars with a plug account a third of the global auto fleet by 2040 and displace about 8 million barrels a day of oil production. In just eight years, electric cars will be as cheap as gasoline vehicles, pushing the global fleet to 550 million by 2050”. When Volvo recently announced it will only produce vehicles with electric motors of some sort – pure EV or hybrid – in a couple of years made global headlines.

• EV sales forecasts don’t look intimidating once all the numbers are presented. For perspective, how many cars are there in the world? According to Automotive News, in the U.S. alone there were 18.4 million new cars and light trucks sold in 2016. A year ago, U.S. research house Alliance Bernstein reported that in 2015 there were 1.1 billion cars and 377 million trucks on the world’s roads, quantities expected to rise to 1.5 billion and 507 million respectively by 2025 and 2 billion and 790 billion by 2040. These figures are interesting because if the number of vehicles doubles but EVs are only 25% by 2050 (Bloomberg’s high case) this doesn’t equate to an 8% reduction in oil demand. If the Morningstar prediction above comes true, this would equate to 8.8 million new EVs in 2025 based on worldwide sales of 88 million units in 2016. One of the big issues now emerging is the significant petroleum consumption and emissions of transport trucks for which electrification is not currently practical. And, of course, airplanes only run on refined crude. Bernstein figures Air Revenue Passenger Kilometers, or RPK, which was 9 trillion in 2015, will rise to 12 trillion in 2025 and more than double to 20 trillion by 2040. Oil required for transportation will continue to grow. Of a 42 US gallon barrel of crude 86% ends up transportation fuel (20 gallons gasoline, 12 diesel and 4 jet fuel). And EVs will only capture a meaningful portion of the market if several problems are solved, some highlighted below.

Related: Daily OPEC Oil Prices Now Public For The First Time Ever

• Growth in EV sales thus far have been supported by significant government subsidies. The Tesla website points out just how much the sticker price of its vehicles can be reduced. In America, everyone gets a federal US$7,500 income tax credit then Louisiana adds on as much as US$9,500 “depending on battery choice”. A typical amount from is other states is an additional $1,000 to $$2,500. In Canada Ontario will chip in a Cdn$14,000 tax rebate plus carpool lane access for a single driver. Quebec is at Cdn$3,000 according to the Tesla website. But it is noteworthy how sales plunge when subsidies end. Website qz.com wrote on July 10 how “Nobody in Hong Kong Wants a Tesla Anymore”. Sales plummeted once the subsidy was capped at US$12,500 which raised the cost of one of the higher-end models to US$118,400 from US$72,900. In China BYD, which was once the world’s largest manufacturer of EVs thanks to domination of that market, saw EV sales drop 34% in Q1 2017 once state funding was reduced in January. Late last year Forbes wrote EV sales in Europe were declining in the fall of 2016. In April U.S. auto research firm Edmunds concluded, “Elimination of federal tax credits likely to kill U.S. EV market”, predicting EV sales would crash when the subsidies are withdrawn. Norway proudly trumpets how it has the highest level of EV adoption in the world, but the government pays people to do it. In a great article by thedrive.com in mid-July, the writer reports there are no sales taxes on EVs, owners don’t pay for vehicle registration, ferries and roads tolls are free, and they can drive in bus or HOV lanes. To make sure drivers get with the program Norway charges nearly US$7 a US gallon for gasoline. Norway gets all its EV subsidy money by selling oil to the rest of the world. At US$45 a barrel Norway’s average 2016 production of 2.1 million b/d was worth US$35 billion last year and its sovereign wealth fund is currently totals US$960 billion. Britain and France have announced that by 2040 – 23 years from now – vehicles powered only by ICEs will be banned. But however gloomy that may sound for the oil industry today, that is enough time for 6 elections in both countries which could change everything, the development of new technologies to make ICEs even cleaner and more efficient, and is sufficiently distant to be meaningless for all crude producers except the supermajors.

• Are EV’s really green? There has been much written about this subject but it doesn’t make headlines. You have to hunt for it. In article in wired.com on March of 2016 the writer questioned whether or not Tesla was really environmentally friendly. If you recharge with coal-fired electricity the emissions are higher than burning gasoline. The vehicles must be lighter to extend battery life so they require a lot of high performance metals which is hardly environmentally benign to produce (more on lithium later). A researcher wrote, “…the greenhouse gas emissions footprint of electric vehicles can be pretty high on the front end, as they’re being built. We’re shifting pollution, and in the process we’re hoping that it doesn’t have the environmental impact”. Then there’s the safe disposal of the battery after it dies and the local landfill is not the place. In June, the Montreal Economic Institute released a report that claimed subsidizing EVs was “an inefficient way to reduce CO2 emissions”. A spokesman said, “It’s just a waste. Not only do these programs costs taxpayers a fortune, but they also have little effect on GHG emissions”. The study claimed current subsidies in Quebec and Ontario, driven by lofty public government ambitions to grow EV use significantly, cost taxpayers Cdn$523 per tonne of reduced carbon emissions in Ontario and Cdn$288 in Quebec. The cap and trade system Ontario is adopting, mirroring than in California, taxes carbon at Cdn18 per tonne. Alberta’s new carbon tax, which the NDP are selling as a first step in saving the planet from climate change, is Cdn$20.

• Beware of looming electricity and lithium shortages. When Bloomberg did its analysis it predicted, “Electricity consumption from EVs will grow to 1,800 terawatt-hours in 2040, or 5 percent of global power demand, from 6 terawatt-hours in 2016”. This is a staggering 3,000 percent increase. Where will it come from? Better not be coal or possibly even natural gas. At a conference held April 3 in Calgary sponsored by ARC Energy Research Institute (AERI) a representative of Bruce Power, the Ontario nuclear electricity generator, said to economically reduce carbon emissions recharging EVs only made sense at night, not during peak load hours. If everybody drove their EVs to work and tried to plug in at the office it would overload the system. Meanwhile, there is speculation whether the world has enough lithium to build all the batteries skyrocketing EV growth would ensure. One analyst has predicted lithium shortages as soon as 2023 and have already delayed Tesla’s output. The solution, which is not all bad for the oil industry, is dual fuel whereby the battery is smaller, the lithium required per vehicle is lower, and mobility is augmented by a smaller ICE using good old-fashioned gasoline.

Related: The Next Big Catalyst In The U.S. Oil Export Boom

• Then there’s the morality of EV subsidies, which is rarely discussed in the pursuit of slaying the climate change beast. Until Tesla rolled out its Model 3 with a suggested sticker price of US$35,000, earlier models cost a small fortune restricting the number of people able to purchase one. At the AERI conference an automotive industry speaker noted Tesla dominated the market because it was “sexy”. But a look at used vehicle website showed these vehicles costing as much as Cdn$170,000, even second hand. Four pages of ads didn’t have one listed below Cdn$63,700. Is it politically acceptable that Ontario provides Cdn$14,000 in subsidies from all taxpayers to allow the richest people in the province to buy an EV in the same price range as a Porsche, Ferrari or Maserati? And while the subsidies are directed to the vehicle purchase so politicians can count sales numbers, the recharging network is years behind. This will require even more government money because in most places there is insufficient commercial demand for the private sector to justify the investment. EVs are range-restricted with 300 km. being the outer end. Then they take hours to recharge. Colder temperatures impair battery performance as every Canadian driver knows. Is this an intelligent and sustainable use of taxpayer dollars?

Kevin Libin, an editorial writer for the Financial Post, wrote a column July 11 titled, “The awesome, unstoppable revolutionary electric-car revolution that doesn’t actually exist”. He wrote, “…because nobody’s really driving these miracle machines, said mania has been limited to breathless news reports about how the EV revolution is about to rock our world. EVs comprise just two-tenths of a percent of all passenger vehicles in North America, despite the media’s endless hype and efforts of green-obsessed governments to cover much of the price tag”.

Libin continued, “The real story being missed is just how pathetic things look right now for electric cars. Gasoline prices in the U.S. turned historically cheap in 2015 and stayed cheap, icing demand for gasless cars…Tesla was rocked by a controversial Swedish study that found that making one of its car batteries released as much CO2 as eight years of gasoline-powered driving. And Bloomberg reported last week on a study by Chinese engineers that found electric vehicles, because of battery manufacturing and charging by fossil-fueled electricity, still emit-50 per cent more carbon than internal-combustion engines”.

Calgary’s voice of sober second on all matters oil, Peter Tertzakian of AERI, agreed with Libin in an article the same day. He wrote, “The demand for oil is as robust as it’s ever been, thanks to barrels that are priced 60 percent lower than they were three years ago.; the linkage of petroleum to the world economy is actually strengthening, not weakening. But it doesn’t matter. EV mania is affecting the psychology of investors who finance oil assets, services and infrastructure. Fog lights of reason are finding it increasingly difficult to see the future of oil past 2020, because a cloud of uncertainty is thickening around long-term demand”.

Tertzakian wrote how more people are asking him somewhat rhetorically, “Looks like the petroleum business is finished, eh?” He responds, “Really? Have you bought an electric car or hybrid?” and the answer is universally no. And nobody else has either. He figures there are two scenarios. The first is tighter capital will “clean out” inefficient oil producers but technology will help oil prices stay lower, “making the consumer decision to switch to EVs more difficult”. The other is shrinking capital investment reducing future production thus leading to a price spike. Tertzakian concludes, “Ironically, progressive oil companies will do well under both scenarios”.

Meanwhile, you won’t see any EVs in the oilpatch anytime soon. The EV maximum range of 300 km. remains what many in this business drive before mid-morning when there’s work to be done. And the destination is nowhere near a charging station.

By David Yager for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • JGS on July 27 2017 said:
    EVs are green, and getting greener. The US in particular is doing pretty well in greening up it's electric grid. That will continue. Adoption of EVs will dovetail with those changes.
  • J P DeCaen on July 27 2017 said:
    The author's conclusions regarding oil demand stability may be worth considering but but to suggest ev's pollute as much or more than gas cars has been thoroughly debunked. The batteries have a very long life and overwhelmingly would be recycled.
  • rick on July 27 2017 said:
    Great article. I didn't know it was legal to tell the truth anymore!
  • Henry on July 27 2017 said:
    That article was fun to read. The author seemed very very committed to his point. He really made a case for oil and really made the case that the EV doesn't have a chance. I think he omitted one big thing though. You see the oil companies nor the public makes the cars. The auto makers do and they are going to build what they want. They are all on record united that its coming. There are no exception.....no one is saying no EV for us. Its universal. Why would the auto makers do this? Several reason. First and formost it will be far cheaper to build. When the EV is in full production the Major car makers profits will skyrocket. It has a fraction of the parts of the ICE car. As well its a better experience to drive. The range...its climbing and it wont be long until it meets and exceeds the ICE. To conclude I tend to side with the great Steve Jobs. The public doesnt know what they want but if we show them and build it they will buy it and boy can things change in 10-15 years.
  • Steve Olson on July 28 2017 said:
    The author doesn't actually show what the headline claims. It's really just a laundry-list of right-wing complaints and talking points, with very little in the way of actual analysis.

    EVs will win because they are intrinsically better cars than gasmobiles, here's why:

    • EVs have a lot more torque, EVs have instantaneous, full power. That makes them a lot more responsive and fun to drive.

    • EVs are safer, no engine means a lot more crumple zone space, go look at Tesla crash videos to see how profound this difference is.

    • The ride-quality in an EV is better: no engine noise means quieter interiors, better music or radio, and less driver stress.

    • EVs require a lot less maintenance, why? Because: no engine, no transmission, no transaxle, no catalytic converter, or exhaust system. no tune ups, no smog checks, no oil changes, almost all fluid changes go away. And surprisingly: very few brake replacements (because you rarely use them: recharge instead). What's left? Not much: Shocks? Window wiper fluid? AC?

    • EVs handle better and have better traction because the weight is down-low and they're more responsive.

    • EVs have a lot more interior space for an equivalent vehicle. Why? No engine, exhaust or muffler, no gas tank, no transaxle. That's a lot of stuff we don't need.

    • EVs have better active handling: electric motors mean instantaneous response, giving better control on driving on ice or slick roads, EV driving and braking algorithms take advantage of this.

    • This also means EVs are a lot less hassle to own: think of the all the time and hassle to go in for oil changes, scheduled maintenance, etc.

    • EVs cost a lot less per mile: 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of gasoline.

    • EVs will be the main platform for autonomous vehicles.

    Battery costs are the main issue at this point, but battery costs are falling by about 20% per year, and will continue to fall in cost for at least another decade. There's no question that EVs will be cheaper than gasmobiles, and soon.

    Once that happens, gasmobiles will go into terminal decline.
  • Steve Olson on July 28 2017 said:
    EVs will win out, because EVs are intrinsically better cars than gasmobiles, here's why:

    • EVs have a lot more torque, EVs have instantaneous, full power. That makes them a lot more responsive and fun to drive.

    • EVs are safer, no engine means a lot more crumple zone space, go look at Tesla crash videos to see how profound this difference is.

    • The ride-quality in an EV is better: no engine noise means quieter interiors, better music or radio, and less driver stress.

    • EVs require a lot less maintenance, why? Because: no engine, no transmission, no transaxle, no catalytic converter, or exhaust system. no tune ups, no smog checks, no oil changes, almost all fluid changes go away. And surprisingly: very few brake replacements (because you rarely use them: recharge instead). What's left? Not much: Shocks? Window wiper fluid? AC?

    • EVs handle better and have better traction because the weight is down-low and they're more responsive.

    • EVs have a lot more interior space for an equivalent vehicle. Why? No engine, exhaust or muffler, no gas tank, no transaxle. That's a lot of stuff we don't need.

    • EVs have better active handling: electric motors mean instantaneous response, giving better control on driving on ice or slick roads, EV driving and braking algorithms take advantage of this.

    • This also means EVs are a lot less hassle to own: think of the all the time and hassle to go in for oil changes, scheduled maintenance, etc.

    • EVs cost a lot less per mile: 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of gasoline.

    • EVs will be the main platform for autonomous vehicles.

    Battery costs are the main issue at this point, but battery costs are falling by about 20% per year, and will continue to fall in cost for at least another decade. There's no question that EVs will be cheaper than gasmobiles, and soon.

    Once that happens, gasmobiles will go into terminal decline.
  • JR on July 28 2017 said:
    If the author was so sure that EV was no threat, why write a long one essay about it, and make all conditions about the future as bad as possible for the EV, like predict that the electric power to power the EV will be coal generated.

    Then we have a country like Germany who have gone from 11% renewable electric power to about 33% renewable electric power in about 10 year.
  • Bert Bekaert on July 28 2017 said:
    Great article, thanks!
    It puts things in perspective.
  • Butasha on July 28 2017 said:
    Thank you for this article. It is good to see that there are a few journalist in the industry that have a little commonsense left.
  • Disgruntled on July 28 2017 said:
    Well done, Mr. Yager. I think the EV crowd just can't grasp the enormity of the energy requirement to run the world, and it is about 95% hydrocarbon-based (I count coal as a hydrocarbon). Build 'em! Drive 'em if you can afford 'em! And if it makes you feel better. I've always concluded that if the EVs take over the market like their advocates claim they will, then natural gas will be about $15/MCF.

    Hydrocarbons are God's gift to humankind. That's why He made so freaking much of the stuff so it would last a long, long time and human beings could prosper for a long, long time.
  • Jose Scot on July 28 2017 said:
    I don't know who turned climate change into a scam but they did an outstanding job. Sure CO2 is emitted to produce and charge EV's. The scam is that CO2 while it may or may not lead to climate change is just one of the pollutants emitted by ICE vehicles. Who was it that granted everyone in the world permission to spew poisonous gases into the atmosphere? ICE vehicles emit carbon monoxide, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, VOC's and many other pollutants but the focus is always on CO2.
    Wake up and smell the exhaust people.
  • Jose Scot on July 28 2017 said:
    I don't know who turned climate change into a scam but they did an outstanding job. Somehow they were able to convince people that the only emissions that matter are CO2. Of course EV's release CO2 in their manufacture and use but ICE vehicles produce CO2 and many other pollutants including Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen and Sulfur Oxides as well as VOC's.
    Don't be fooled by these scammers.
  • Bill Gates on July 28 2017 said:
    Ha. This reminds me of what it must have been like, when the dinosaur looked up and roared his protest that the meteorite he was seeing as it entered the atmosphere wasn't actually going to strike the earth any time soon.
  • Independence01776 on July 28 2017 said:
    Only two questions need to be answered on EV success:
    1) Are they better vehicles than ICE. Answer seems to be yes, since they are faster, safer, quieter, better for the environment, more trunk space, less maintenance, lower operating cost, etc.
    2) Will their price be less. Tesla has already proven it can build a better car at the high end and compete just fine and they started from scratch. Since ICE vehicles have over 30,000 parts and AV's less than 10,000 (no engine, no coolant system, no exhaust system, no drive train, etc.), it's only a matter of mass production to get the price to the level if not below ICE vehicles. With batteries prices dropping rapidly it will soon be that you can buy a better car for less. Not to mention operation and maintenance cost can save you about $2,000 per year.


    If you look at the markets EV's compete, sedans, you could see ICE market erosion happen quickly.
    In 2015, EV's were 1.5% of sedan sales, in 2016, 2.2% and so far in 2017 3.4%, which equates to 50% growth. 50% of US EV sales were in California, because the infrastructure is much further along and because that's were Tesla decided to focus first (for lots of reasons). In the city I live EV penetration is over 15%, that includes Tesla's, Leafs, Volts. With the release of a number of new EV's likely sales for 2018 are 10% of all sedan sales. How fast from there is dependent only on price declines to continue and infrastructure to improve. Certainly govt. policy can affect this, and that is a whole other story.

    Today I drive my EV 100 miles for 75 cents of electricity, since my supplier charges only 2.5 cents per KW during early morning hours. My supplier is 100% renewable (wind, solar and hydro). As others see the benefits the EV revolution will likely expand rapidly and thus completely disrupt the oil markets. To think otherwise is not looking at the facts in the EV market are the utility energy market which in 2015 and 2016 built more renewable sourced electricity than any other source including natural gas.
  • Jay Moody on July 28 2017 said:
    Note that Mr. Yager doesn't provide a link to the March 2016 Wired article that he uses to cast doubt on whether EVs are really green. Please read it at https://www.wired.com/2016/03/teslas-electric-cars-might-not-green-think/ so that you can understand how badly he misconstrues the conclusions.

    For example, Mr. Yager says "If you recharge with coal-fired electricity the emissions are higher than burning gasoline." The Wired article actually says the opposite -- that if you use coal-fired electricity "all-electrics don’t even look that much better than a traditional vehicle" -- i.e., they still look better than gas powered vehicles even in an all-coal electricity production area, of which there are few.

    For an excellent discussion of the relative greenhouse gas emissions of electric vs. gas cars, go to https://waitbutwhy.com/2015/06/how-tesla-will-change-your-life.html and search for "the long tailpipe theory." The conclusion of that careful analysis is that "even for the 17% of the population living in the worst coal states, an EV beats almost all gas cars" in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Mr. Yager omits these other important quotes from the Wired article:

    * "an electric car like the Model S has almost four times lower CO2 per mile than an equivalent gas-powered car"

    * "So while the emissions argument is tantalizing for gas guzzlers, the average numbers still come out in favor of electric vehicles."

    Mr. Yager quotes the Wired article as saying “…the greenhouse gas emissions footprint of electric vehicles can be pretty high on the front end, as they’re being built. We’re shifting pollution, and in the process we’re hoping that it doesn’t have the environmental impact”. And he omits the very next sentence in the article which says that the scientist he quotes "believes that when you add all the environmental impacts, they still come out in favor of electric vehicles."

    The science is clear that EVs are already much more green than gas cars, and as the percentage of our electricity being produced from renewables increases over time, they will become even more so.
  • Seismic Coffee on July 28 2017 said:
    However, I don't believe the oil price is determined by supply and demand. The old price will have a downward force due to the existence of EVs itself, as the parties in the old industry will try to do their best but futile attempt to delay the eventual overtake, by maintaining the ever-low old price.
  • Mchael on July 28 2017 said:
    JR: Germany, as a very sunny, bright and joyful state will sure have enough area in the East to compensate the solar energy per acreage needed for ex-ICE vehicles, now that A LOT of their houses already have solar stuff mounted.
    Show us the numbers, you Progressivists, and we trust the policy.
    Of all energy used, electricity in Germany is only a very small fraction. And they only reluctantly build their grid out to slosh wind power from the North into Bavaria. So one day your are in Munich after a few foggy days, it is Feierabend and you can't drive back home, because you set your Smart Meter wrongly to "Summer vacation" and the Smart grid promptly sucked your car empty.
    No worries, you do not need to drive to work anymore after that.

    In the 90ies, there was this idea of very lightweight 1L/100km cars. Where are those? It is technically feasable. They are not fast, but 100km/h is possible. Reach would be insane with an 60L tank. Enough for even SME employees to get around. Now the batteries for an EV alone weigh as much as a whole concept car back then!
  • Sean on July 29 2017 said:
    Let's cut to the chase-electric cars, or electric ANYTHING for that matter, are not alternate energy sources. Electricity is NOT an alternate energy source. It's NOT an energy source altogether! It is a CARRIER of energy! You have to find a way to generate the electricity in the first place. And that is done by nuclear, solar, wind, water, AND petroleum! Anyone with a basic knowledge of physics knows that.
  • JdL on July 29 2017 said:
    "Electricity consumption from EVs will grow to 1,800 terawatt-hours in 2040, or 5 percent of global power demand, from 6 terawatt-hours in 2016. This is a staggering 3,000 percent increase."

    It's 300 times the current value, which translates to 30,000 percent. Or, to split hairs, the INCREASE is 299 times the current value, or 29,900 percent.

    Mathematical nitpicking aside, good article. The comments from EV promoters sound rather desperate. None of them addresses the immorality of subsidies. If electric vehicles were so good, they wouldn't REQUIRE subsidies. And as the author points out, it's not poor, needy people who are getting subsidized: they're the ones paying the taxes for the subsidies for well-to-do yuppies, who then congratulate themselves how much they care for Mother Earth. Bleh!
  • Ben L. on July 30 2017 said:
    This is sort of a crazy article. Serious investors rightly don't care whether EV are viable in the "oil patch" or in the exteme cold of the Canadian north. What they do care about is whether EVs are about to take over major cities in the US and EU, and that answer is unequivocally "yes."

    By 2030, maybe 90% of US car transportation will take place via self-driving electric car fleets which are not owned by the passengers. These will be much cheaper than what exists today and cost less than $2 for each way of a a typical commute. Driveways and garages and gas stations will be all but empty in the cities and suburbs.

    What happens in rural America or the "oil patch" doesn't make enough of a dent to matter.
  • john Doe on July 31 2017 said:
    It is hard to take the article seriously when the first fact given about 2016 US car sales is off by 1 million. This figure can be dismissed with a quick google search.

    Git you facts right the first time to have any credibility. EVs will take over the world and oil need will be reduced
  • bob on July 31 2017 said:
    It's cheaper to lease a Chevy Bolt at $38k and charge it then to lease a $20k Chevy Cruze and gas it. WITHOUT SUBSIDIES!!
  • Bob on July 31 2017 said:
    Sounds like the CEO of RIM(Blackberry) back in 2009!
  • Marcus Rönningås on August 01 2017 said:
    "Tesla was rocked by a controversial Swedish study that found that making one of its car batteries released as much CO2 as eight years of gasoline-powered driving"

    The article can be found at: http://www.ivl.se/download/18.5922281715bdaebede9559/1496046218976/C243%20The%20life%20cycle%20energy%20consumption%20and%20CO2%20emissions%20from%20lithium%20ion%20batteries%20.pdf

    It is interesting to read it, so do read it mr Yeager.

    When I did the maths for us I could not reach more than 1,14 to 1,52 years before reaching breakeven regarding CO2. If the factory ran on renewables that figure would be 0,60 to 0,76 years. I drive ~ 20 000 km / year (12500 miles) and my Ioniq has a 28 kWh battery.

    And I purchase wind COO's (certificate of origin), so my electricity is virtuallt CO2 free.

    Besides all that, I drive my Ioniq for a 10'th of the cost compared to a standard ICE-car.
  • Jim on August 01 2017 said:
    Eliminate all fossil fuel use and evs will work. For example if China bans gas cars are they going to power them burning coal? Asia is where human activity is exploding, not England or Norway. The key point is what will you use to generate the electricity. If you use fossil fuels you are actually making it worse because wires are an inifficient way to deliver energy to the user
  • snoopyloopy on August 01 2017 said:
    The author makes the crucial error that almost every other author on the topic of EV penetration over the long term keeps making: focuses solely on electric CARS instead of electric VEHICLES. In truth, electrification is coming for every single segment of transport and it will happen extremely quickly in the commercial sector where TCO is a far bigger driver than it is in the consumer sector and that has a massive impact. Someone replacing their Prius with a Tesla isn't moving the needle on demand much, but transit operators replacing 100 buses with electric models is, as is a warehouse replacing all the yard trucks with an electric model. Tesla already announced that they will be unveiling their electric semi next month and it reportedly is already being well-received by all who test it out. Even marine applications are starting to electrify, with hybrid tugs starting to show up and Norway working toward an entire fleet of all-electric ships within the decade. It really doesn't take much to crash oil prices these days, just the mere hint of a glut will demolish all the gains that have been made. Oil analysts who continue to rely solely on electric CARS and make amazingly absurd assumptions about a lack of demand growth will be surprised in short order, especially now that the Tesla Model 3 is officially launched and is poised to wallop all other vehicles in its class.
  • Scottar on August 01 2017 said:
    The question is what will become of the used Li-on batteries. I understand they are hard to recycle. Lead acid batteries are easy to recycle. And unless the EV's get past the compact stage their use will be limited as well as the price.

    And what of those who want a truck, van, or a high clearance 4x4, EV's can't compete.

    Enviro always look at the hype of technology, they can't dig deeper into resources required, the economics. Time will tell how this EV technology all pans out but it will take a lot more then what is currently at hand to swamp out CIV's.

    And wind and solar, for all the billions thrown at them they don't even provide much more then 3.2% of the electricity consumed. They too have their material and recycling costs and problems that enviros and promoters don't like to talk about.

    The only real sustainable energy source at hand is 4th Gen Nuclear but it won't replace oil nor NG for decades, but it will blow wind, solar and bio away. But nuclear may make EV's more desirable or cleaner vehicles possible.

    It not really a problem of climate change, just crooked and misplaced politics.
  • the masked avenger on August 02 2017 said:
    Not only are EV's a threat, the oil guys are terrified of the fact that oils grip on the economy is shrinking. Oil, though definitely not gone is losing importance daily. The business world, particularly chemicals and transportation have been decimated by big oil and are finding ways around then. I believe it was Abraham Lincoln that said fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. High oil and the continued greed of the oil companies started the electric car revolution. Battery output and charging are improving daily, the millenials are all environmentally concerned and gas engines have topped out on fuel mileage. There are only so many BTU'S IN a gallon of gas. The world has changed and continues to evolve. The future is in solar and power storage. The second generation of electric cars are out with more than double, sometimes triple the range. The third generation will be even better and it just goes up from there. Facts are, EV's are the future, you oil guys know it and you are scared. You should be.
  • Rural fracker on August 02 2017 said:
    Considering the fact that I am currently sitting on a frac job completing a natural gas well I am not opposed to EV's. I have ridden in a higher end Tesla and I was very impressed. I think EV's are great vehicles for the majority of the population that travel
  • Null on August 03 2017 said:
    Willful disregard for facts, or failure to do your research.

    "One of the big issues now emerging is the significant petroleum consumption and emissions of transport trucks for which electrification is not currently practical. "

    Tesla has announced it's Semi. Fueling costs are about 1/3rd of diesel, maintenance is radically reduced. They've already sold the first 1,000 of them.
  • Marcus Rönningås on August 03 2017 said:
    @Scottar
    "And what of those who want a truck, van, or a high clearance 4x4, EV's can't compete. "

    A couple of friends of mine got the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Although it is (only) a plug-in hybrid it was somewhat of a gamechanger when it came out a couple of years ago. The new Volvo XC90 also has a plug-in hybrid, as well as the BMW X5 to name a few.

    There is absolutely nothing that says that SUV's can't be EV's as well. In a year or two there will be EV models of SUV's and not only plug-in hybrids.

    And no - the Tesla Model X does not count..
  • Pedro on August 09 2017 said:
    Hey - I'm in the oil business too - and whilst I really want to believe everything in the post - I get it. Key message - oil has competition = can't be complacent - boom times may not come back.

    Main challenge for me on EV';s - time to fill her up; and access to filling points - until you can recharge to full range in a few minutes (or the range is as far you and a friend can physically drive in one go before you want to stop for a few hours) uptake will be patchy apart from inner city commuter vehicles in my opinion. It's not hard to see office parking lots and homes fitted out with charging stations for each parking spot - what happens when that point is out of order for some reason ? Or the recharge station you wanted to use is closed for some reason - You can't go home / get to work ?

    A lot of barriers to mass EV uptake but doesn't mean it won't happen - investors take your gamble either way
  • Marcus Rönningås on August 10 2017 said:
    @Pedro "time to fill her up; and access to filling points" - I fully agree, and I think that You put the finger on many interesting points. We tried a 50 kW loading station the other day, and the time it took me to get a cup of coffee in the store I had fueled close to 14 kWh, which by far would take me home to charge the car overnight.

    The map I use for finding operative loading places is packed with loading places, although the power differs - not all have 50 kW charging capability.

    As far as an investor, I'm not sure what they should contribute with. If you want to attract customers to your store or "gas-station" or whatever, just call your utility company and say that You want to increase your Amps. Sellers of load tech ? Well - there's a dime a dozen of them and it's dirt cheap.
  • michael on August 13 2017 said:
    CO2 make up 3-4% of the gases in the atmosphere. EVs might be successful and if they are that's terrific. Consumer Shiism get what they want. The climate change cult won't dare mention the CO2 make sup such a small fraction of the FAs in the atmosphere. They prefer to make it about politics than actual science.
  • Marcus Rönningås on August 14 2017 said:
    @michael - I assume you mean 0,03 - 0,04 % of the volume of the atmosphere. I do not intend to be rude or point fingers on number/units, but regardless of what thoose figures makes a lot of difference. Pre-industrial CO2 was more greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

    For me it's not a cult - on the contrary. And I just don't feel like betting that all of the scientists are wrong about the concequenses of increased levels of greenhouse gases.
  • Hallvor on August 16 2017 said:
    Norway export oil, but 99% of Norway's electricity comes from hydropower so it makes sense to run electric cars in Norway.
  • John Mills on August 17 2017 said:
    I'm having some trouble figuring out why EVs will materially reduce the demand for oil.

    True, of course, that EV's plug in and don't fill up at the Chevron station. But, that doesn't mean that EVs don't use oil. It means only that the oil is burned at a place called a power plant, rather than in a car.

    For places like America's Pacific NW, there's hydro electricity and around the country there's wind energy and other "renewables," but those are a tiny fraction of electricity generated and if demand overall for electricity grows, it seems doubtful that oil won't be used to meet that demand - again burned in power plants, not cars.

    This, of course, is true even if the number of EVs sold accelerate dramatically. If that doesn't happen, then all we get is more oil burned up in more ICE's. Either way, I don't see the change over to EVs, regardless of rate, as being a significant cause of reduced oil consumption.
  • Marcus Rönningås on August 18 2017 said:
    John, if Sweden were to convert all our ~4 800 000 cars to EV's we would increase the electricity consumtion with ~8 TWh, given the same average driving distance.

    In 2016, Sweden produced 15,4 TWh from wind.

    A bit simplified, yes. But to say that EV's won't have a impact on oil ? That depends, so to speak.
  • Dave Ryan on August 20 2017 said:
    As with many things it is whether you are buying or selling. This article is selling the bitter pill for many that EVs despite the hype and real progress are not going to change the trajectory of gasoline demand for transportation. The math defending ICEs versus EVs is compelling ... but I still want my EVs with a Tesla Solar Roof and Wall Battery for my home!
  • Martin Bell on August 23 2017 said:
    In Canada where I live, gas is $1.30 a liter. That is $5.45 a gallon!!! With oil at what $47 dollars per barrel. Imagine if that price was in the states. Civil war would erupt. What happens when oil goes to $60 or $70? Will we have $7 or $8 dollars per gallon. I was really wanting to see a Nisson Leaf as my manager bought one. Super cheap to run she said. Finally I saw one and was like cool, the future is here. The next day I saw another one. Months later I see about ten a day driving around and it keeps going up. So long as gas is north of $5 a gallon this trend will continue...
  • Independence01776 on August 25 2017 said:
    Just checked the spot prices for solar modules. They continue to drop like a rock, down 10% the past 6 months and 25% the past year. Battery prices are also dropping like a rock, 20% per year. Companies are investing billions in order to get a piece of the pie.

    In other words, we have reached what is known as the tipping point where technology prices declines accelerate as demand starts to increase beyond just a couple of percent of market share. Every week you hear of another major auto manufacturer say they are moving towards EV's. Why, because they realize they are better vehicles and with rapidly dropping battery prices and economies of scale they can already be built at prices on par with ICE vehicles. Tesla has been the impetus to push the automakers, who now realize if they snooze any longer they loose.

    In other words, faster, better, cheaper is the way forward.

    SUV's and Pickups make up 60% of the US light vehicle market.
    As of yet, there aren't any serious players building EV's in this market, but this is soon to change. In the meantime the only way to see how EV's are fairing is to look at the sedan market, since this is the only place EV's compete today. Sedan EV penetration in the US is as follows:
    2015 - 1.5%
    2016 - 2.2%
    2017 - 3.5% to date.
    2018 - 10% estimate. If Tesla sells only 300,000 of the 400,000 they hope to this is 5% already
    2019 - 20% as other manufacturers bring lots of models to market, prices decline, and infrastructure expands
    2020 35%
    2021 60%
    2022 85%
    2023 95%

    All because EV's are faster, better, and soon to be cheaper.

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