Some of us have been speculating that some OPEC members are beginning to brace themselves for the eventual end of oil, but it appears that most members don’t actually believe that “alternative” transportation modalities are going to become common anytime in the next 24 years, going by a recent member survey. Or, at least, they won’t admit it.
The survey found that OPEC members “believe that fewer than 1 in 16 vehicles will be powered by anything other than gas or diesel in 2040,” apparently.
For that to actually be the case, it should be realized, there would have to be only very, very limited growth in electric vehicle (EV) sales over the next quarter century or so — Tesla alone could probably invalidate that supposition, but when the efforts of companies like Apple, Google, GM, Nissan, BMW, Volkswagen, etc., are factored in, it seems downright ridiculous.
Autoblog notes that, “working against OPEC’s study is the fact that sales of US plug-in vehicles through July were up about 7% from a year earlier, although volume of about 61,000 units is modest compared to the total global car market. Those numbers are likely to continue to advance throughout the next year or so as all-electric models like the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt EV hit the market. Despite the confidence expressed in the study, some members of OPEC may be blinking. Saudi Arabia is preparing a $2-trillion investment fund dedicated to funding industries that have nothing to do with petroleum.”
Note that all plug-in car sales are up 22% in the US through August (still 7% for pure electrics), and that plug-in car sales are absolutely booming — up 188% — in China in July, where the technology just keeps getting a bigger and bigger boost from the government. Furthermore, some countries — the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, and India, for example — are considering bans on gasoline & diesel cars.
Personally, what I really want to know is what OPEC members are saying privately, not publicly. Are they complacent? Are some of them getting uneasy? Panicking? Or are they all just focused on “living the good life?”
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