Electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) are steadily gaining popularity as prices come down and supporting infrastructure goes up. They're not quite comparable to gas-powered cars yet, but what happens once they are? Based on some internal data crunching, Bloomberg believes that it'll cause another oil crisis.
Using data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), a new Bloomberg feature claims that, as EVs continue to get both cheaper and better, the crude-oil economy is in for a shocker. The group claims that by charting a continuation of this year's 60-percent EV sales growth, buyers would be displacing 2 million barrels' worth of demand before 2030, and that 35 percent of new cars could come with a plug by 2040.
"By 2040, long-range electric cars will cost less than $22,000 (in today's dollars), according to the [BNEF] projections," Bloomberg's Tom Randall writes. The story also posits that, in six years, unsubsidized EVs will cost the same as gas cars, thanks largely to advances in battery technology.
Of course, that all involves a fair bit of assumption, and naturally, groups related to the oil industry don't exactly see things in the same light. Bloomberg points out that OPEC's operating under the assumption that just 1 percent of the global car market will be EVs by 2040, up from 0.1 percent today. And it's not like gasoline is the only thing coming from crude oil -- we still use it to create jet fuel, some plastics, asphalt, petroleum coke and aromatic fluids.
Not to mention the fact that our electric infrastructure is still woefully underequipped to handle a massive influx of long-range drivers (Tesla's Supercharger network notwithstanding). Heck, even the story itself mentions that increasing demand from developing countries "could outweight" the impact of EVs on the oil industry. While this story definitely paints a picture, it's a very optimistic one.