What if Oil Is About to Have a Coal Moment?
Sami Grover writes a speculative piece that pieces together recent news about the growing market for electric vehicles and considers a provocative idea: disruption in the oil industry.
According to Grover, "it only took a 10% cut in coal demand to radically slash the coal industry's credit worthiness," and there's been enough recent news consider the possibility that there might be a similar fate, and sooner rather than later, for the oil industry. He lists the following articles as examples:
- "Smart cars going 100% electric in the US"
- "Sydney Airport orders 40 more electric buses"
- "Vattenfall (a giant Swedish utility) converting entire vehicle fleet to electric"
- "20% of new buses in China are now electric"
Although Grover acknowledges that such reports represent only a "blip" for the oil industry's bottom line, "collectively it won't be long before they really start to add up." Also those stories are all about the adoption of electric technologies at current pricing. The current prices of electric technology will not persist, however. According to Grover, "Wards Auto is reporting on conversations with auto industry insiders who say electric vehicle batteries should be under $100 per kilowatt hour by 2020, and $80 not long after that. That's a figure well below the $125 per kilowatt hour that the Department of Energy set in 2010 as a target for cost parity with internal combustion engines."
Grover concludes by listing other possibilities, besides electrification, that could spell demise of the oil industry's current market dominance.