Another Monopoly Is About To Go The Way Of The Dinosaurs

“No more petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks will be sold anywhere in the world within eight years. The entire market for land transport will switch to electrification, leading to a collapse of oil prices and the demise of the petroleum industry as we have known it for a century.
 
This is the futuristic forecast by Stanford University economist Tony Seba. His report, with the deceptively bland title Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030, has gone viral in green circles and is causing spasms of anxiety in the established industries.
 
Seba’s premise is that people will stop driving altogether. They will switch en masse to self-drive electric vehicles (EVs) that are ten times cheaper to run than fossil-based cars, with a near-zero marginal cost of fuel and an expected lifespan of 1 million miles.”
 
See All fossil-fuel vehicles will vanish in 8 years in twin ‘death spiral’ for big oil and big autos, says study that’s shocking the industries
Yes, whether or not we believe in climate change and that EVs will save the planet, it is smarter to drive electrically. “Drive smart. Drive electric.” is the slogan of Electra Meccanica who sell the Solo EV. The Solo makes so much sense: efficiency of energy utilization, use of renewable energy, small size, nearly zero emissions, low maintenance costs, low operating costs… It’s just silly to depend on fossil fuels, even at the pinnacle of internal combustion engine and control-system development when one can be transported five times cheaper electrically. The world cares more about costs and convenience than they do about saving the planet, but that’s enough. Driving electrically and saving the planet are aligned unlike depending on fossil fuels.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.

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15 Responses to Another Monopoly Is About To Go The Way Of The Dinosaurs

  1. Grece says:

    Curbing CO2 is just one factor in civilization, not a panacea Robert.

  2. ram says:

    Robert Pogson said: “On the contrary, politicians are seeing the merits of subsidizing EVs to enhance uptake. It’s part of the global war on CO2, reducing dependence on oil, and reducing waste and reducing energy consumption.”

    Not in Australia. The politicians (except for The Greens) are in the pockets of the fossil fuel lobby and fight new technologies tooth and nail. Complementing their attacks on renewable energy, they also attack education, public transport, and have already crippled communications infrastructure for decades.

  3. Grece says:

    When the wheels fall off,

    Why would the wheels fall off Robert?

  4. DrLoser wrote, “one of them even to downsize to,, a Nissan Leaf”.

    That’s not certain. When the wheels fall off, TLW will want a replacement and Solo or a Leaf could be our second car.

  5. DrLoser says:

    Everything above this statement was nonsensical, Robert, but let’s focus on your conclusion.

    Everyone is happy with computers they plug in and move around. Why not cars?

    And why not pumpkins hauled around by magical mice?

    Not every market works the same way, Robert. The Disney market I quote fails (rather spectacularly) on the absence of magical mice hauling pumpkins.

    Leaving that to one (instructive, I think) side, you fail to recognise the way that markets for different products work. Of course consumers want mobile laptops and phones, and of course this can be provided (via lithium ion batteries, if you will) without significant disruption to the existing manufacturing chain.

    Now, it isn’t at all obvious that consumers want electrically powered cars. Not even proper ones, like the Nissan Leaf. As proof of this, I cite the amount of money that various large manufacturers have sunk into the task of designing, building and manufacturing electrically powered cars.

    But let’s say there is a discontinuity in the demand curve here. There very well may be one.

    Not only is the cost (including externalities such as social costs for anybody dependent for employment on the old business model) going to be phenomenally high and socially disruptive, but you are still gambling against Consumer Preference. Here, let me help you out.

    Imagine a husband and wife, in a comfortable neighborhood in Manitoba. One of them babbles on incessantly about saving the planet with a $250 down-payment on a tricycle, whilst apparently still being dependent upon either his wife’s SUV or possibly something slightly less awful, such as perhaps a Model T. The other of them drives an SUV. All the time. And refuses to budge.

    Now, scale that scenario up, Robert. You are going to have to convince about 100 million TLWs to “see it your way” before anything worthwhile happens. And you can’t even convince one of them even to downsize to a Nissan Leaf. (Which in all fairness would do the job for TLW perfectly well.)

    Why? Because consumers have minds of their own, Robert. You may not like it. But that is just the way it is.

  6. ram wrote, “fossil fuel companies will bribe politicians to introduce onerous regulations and taxes on the new technology”.

    On the contrary, politicians are seeing the merits of subsidizing EVs to enhance uptake. It’s part of the global war on CO2, reducing dependence on oil, and reducing waste and reducing energy consumption. We see similar effects with the adoption of LED lights. Further, individuals like me actually can take action to foster adoption of EVs. I’m going to use my welding outlet in the garage to speed up my charging using an adapter and I plan on having a charging station in my driveway, possibly for a second car or emergency use by travellers although I’m a little off the beaten track and Winnipeg is so close. There are all kinds of forces pushing folks to adopt EVs especially in cities where the stench of exhaust is so strong and stop and go traffic so dense. The light weight and density of modern lithium batteries and electronic information technology are major facilitators. Everyone is happy with computers they plug in and move around. Why not cars?

  7. ram says:

    I kinda doubt if electric vehicle adoption will be all that quick. First of all, fossil fuel companies will bribe politicians to introduce onerous regulations and taxes on the new technology. Next, as in Australia today, the fossil fuel companies will bribe politicians to subsidize fossil fuels and vehicles.

    Never underestimate the power of bribery to suppress superior technology.

    You should know that being a follower of competition between Microsoft and other operating systems.

  8. DrLoser says:

    I also love to instruct simpletons.

    Can you spell “subduction,” Robert?

    Clue: just use your finger and follow the letters.

  9. DrLoser says:

    And yet I live to serve, Robert.

    Have you ever heard of kerogen?

  10. DrLoser says:

    It’s certain that a tiny fraction of fossil fuel comes from dinosaurs

    Yes, obviously. But we are talking seriously tiny here.

    … because they were a tiny fraction of the global biomass

    No, equally obviously. Did you take Geology 101, Robert? Are you aware of how fossil fuel strata were formed?

    Evidently not.

  11. DrLoser wrote, “Leaving aside the issue of whether fossil fuel comes from dinosaur remains (it doesn’t)”

    Fossil fuel derives from biomass of one form or another. It’s certain that a tiny fraction of fossil fuel comes from dinosaurs because they were a tiny fraction of the global biomass, eating plants and other critters, but most living things depending on photosynthesis for a living. One could ask the question, “How is a dying dinosaur to avoid ending up in a coal mine or salt dome?”. It would be the luck of the draw. I doubt if dinosaurs planned that far into the future. Since dinosaurs were animals they probably followed food sources and climate not geology.

  12. DrLoser says:

    Leaving aside the issue of whether fossil fuel comes from dinosaur remains (it doesn’t), one has to ponder the following three questions:

    1) In what way did dinosaurs hold a monopoly? I think you’ll find they didn’t.
    2) On the estimation that dinosaurs roamed the earth for around 150 million years, wouldn’t this indicate that monopolies are an evolutionary success story?
    3) Is evolutionary time now so accelerated that Robert Pogson can become a dinosaur in a single human lifetime (or part thereof)?

    Enquiring minds need to know

  13. Grece says:

    LMAO, Robert you are making me pee myself!

    For one there is no monopoly in fossil fuels, second oil does not derive from dinosaurs, third the oil industry is worth trillions.

    Show me one electric car company doing trillions in sales. Even Tesla is under a hundred-thousand a year, which is a drop in the bucket of vehicles sold/purchase/leased worldwide.

    You truly do not understand the scaling of industries at all. You cannot just dump electric cars on the world and not expect major problems. Namely, the electric grid in any country is not capable of handling the excess load. In addition to that, there would be a massive need for more power plants on the gigawatt scale, think nuclear or multiple gas/coal plants.

    Saving the planet? Whats happening to the planet Robert?? Are you talking about SHTF scenario where the Muhammadans take Winnipeg?

  14. Agent_Smith says:

    Robert,
    I wish you are right. But the sheik’s oil mafia is very powerful. And, in the past, they succeed in hindering world advance, with other energetic options.
    But, dumping oil will be the best for the planet. So, crossing fingers here.

    Regards,

  15. Kurkosdr says:

    I would be worried about the Tesla Model 3 if I was a big oil exec. Because it is the first electric car that isn’t a glorified golf cart (hint: any car without supercharging ability and decent range falls in the glorified golf cart category) and at the same time it might save the driver enough money from not buying oil to actually justify the cost of purchase before it starts falling apart, unlike the current options.

    Also, the EU will cap the average CO2 emissions per manufacturer to just 95grams in 2021, which means that luxury brands will have to do some kind electrification at some point if they want to keep selling luxury.

    Thanks to Elon Musk, the Eurocrats in Brussels, and the advances in battery technology, the good parts of the world will gradually get rid of their dependence in oil. But when it comes to overpopulated Islamic hellholes? Not so much. Algeria still uses leaded gas for eff’s sake. In fact, they will be the recipients of all the diesel burning cars the Europeans and Americans will sell to buy new electric cars.

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