Peak Oil is You

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Page added on October 6, 2017

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The future of oil is almost here and it doesn’t look very pretty


The world is propelling fast towards a post-oil future when electric batteries will drive the world. After Elon Musk’s Tesla popularised electric vehicles (EVs), now is the turn for planes to go electric. Boeing and JetBlue Airways have announced they would begin selling a hybrid-electric commuter aircraft by 2022. Planned by start-up Zunum Aero, the small plane would seat up to 12 passengers and reduce travel time and cost of trips under 1,600 km.

A futurist and clean energy expert, Toni Seba, has predicted that electric vehicles would destroy the global oil industry after a decade. By 2030, 95% of people won’t own private cars which would wipe off the automobile industry, he says.

Electric planes are actually the third disruption in oil industry, After electric vehicles, the buzz grew around autonomous vehicles. Self-driven vehicles are going to deliver another big blow to the oil industry as they will reduce personal ownership of cars. The technology-driven models in mass transport such as Ola and Uber can lead to shared trasnport further reducing demand for oil. Seba has predicted that by 2030, 95 per cent of people won’t own private cars.

Now the battery-driven small planes will become yet another disruption. Since they are going to be cheaper than the current planes on smaller routes, they might get hugely popular.

That’s how global oil demand will go down and so will the prices. According to Seba, the global oil demand will peak at 100 million barrels per day by 2020, dropping to 70 million barrels per day by 2030. This would means, according to Seba, the price of oil plummeting to $25 a barrel.

India has declared it would be allow manufacturing of only electric cars by 2030. Not a single petrol or diesel car would be sold in the country after 13 years. This is an ambitious goal.

Recently, Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari had to warn the car-makers who are depending on hybrids. He said he was going to bulldoze the government’s plan through the market. Though it is unlikely that the government will force this goal on the industry, it has showna serious intent to disincentivise petrol and diesel vehicles. Advances in the battery technology are preparing ground for economic viability of the goal as new technology will encourage more automakers to jump on to the bandwagon.

Recently, Tata Motors, won a contract to supply 1,000 electric vehicles to the government. It stumped India’s only EV maker, M&M, when it quoted a far lower price — Rs 11.2 lakh each, inclusive of the GST and a five-year warranty, against M&M’s Rs 13 lakh. More Indian automakers will be veering towards EVs as technology improves, effective solutions for charging infrastructure emerge and benefits of scale become available.

The Indian automobile market is tipped to become the third largest in the world by 2020, according to estimates by JD Power and Ernst & Young. India’s share of the global passenger vehicle market will jump from 4% in 2010-11 to 8% in 2020. Global passenger vehicle demand is expected to hit 108 million units of which 50% or around 54 million units will come from the Asia, Pacific and Africa region. India’s passenger vehicle market is expected to hit 10 million units by 2020.

Imagine such a big industry shunning oil and going electric.

The end of oil will tweak the global geopolitical equations too. The Arab countries that have thrived on oil business will wield less influence and will have to open up their economy to other businesses.

The end of oil, now that it is in sight, promises to revolutionise businesses, economies, politics as well as lifestyle.

economic times

57 Comments on "The future of oil is almost here and it doesn’t look very pretty"

  1. TheNationalist on Sat, 7th Oct 2017 11:47 am 

    When you consider that half the weight of a 747 at takeoff is just the jet A1 fuel it gives you options surely. Plus those rolls royces must weigh several tons on each wing, thats plenty of battery capacity (160 tons or so).

  2. Cloggie on Sat, 7th Oct 2017 12:17 pm 

    Straight from the horses mouth: 1$ = 1 hour flying.

  3. Cloggie on Sat, 7th Oct 2017 12:25 pm 

    “Plus those rolls royces must weigh several tons on each wing, thats plenty of battery capacity (160 tons or so).”

    But propellers will give you less speed than the Rolls. Which perhaps is a good thing. Flying from Amsterdam to Southern Spain could take 7 hours, rather than 3.

    It would be like in the fifties. Here flying from Holland to Australia in the movie “Bride Flight” with Rutger Hauer:

  4. Kenz300 on Sun, 8th Oct 2017 9:51 am 

    Battery storage is a game changer making wind and solar base load power.
    Clean energy production with solar panels / tiles and battery storage.
    Clean energy consumption with electric vehicles. No emissions.
    A new solar roof, battery storage, an electric car charger and an electric vehicle.
    Solar panels are now being projected to have a much longer life than just a few years ago.
    Electric cars, electric trucks, electric lawn mowers, electric snow blowers, electric tools, no emissions.

  5. dooma on Mon, 9th Oct 2017 6:05 am 

    I may not be a pilot but I have spent most of my working life keeping the large commercial jets in top condition to fly.

    I said on this site a long time ago that aircraft will be the “canaries in the coalmine” for peak oil as you will NEVER make a viable electric/alternative energy powered large seating capacity plane. Unless it runs on pixie-dust or smurf piss.

    This just shows how desperate we are to pretend that life will continue as usual.

    Things will get ugly quickly one day.

  6. Anonymous on Mon, 9th Oct 2017 11:58 am 


    Do tell. Oil is at $50. Red staters can fly Southwest for $200 to visit family, provided they book ahead of time. TOD is dead and ASPO bit the big one. Remaining peak oilers are in denial.

  7. Davy on Mon, 9th Oct 2017 12:20 pm 

    Nony, Dooma is Australian.

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