Monday, December 17, 2018

EVs and the Coming Oil Glut?

The other day I read this article. The author, Ross Tessien seems to have created something of a stir.  His basic premise is that the demand for EVs has already quietly started a rapid journey to 100% adoption by 2026, we have not correctly interpreted the signs yet, and all of this will amount to a historically significant oil glut as early as 2023 (when everyone realizes oil is being massively overproduced).

Here's a great, very friendly video explanation by the guys from "Now You Know". Be forewarned that all of their content seems to be heavily Tesla-centered and slightly fanatical, so they are likely to be more bullish on this hypothesis.

Despite the fact that I more-or-less believe that this is the ultimate outcome, I think there are some factors that Tessien has not considered:
  1. "Gas Grab" - A subset of people who just want cheap transportation will be happy to buy and own their gas-powered cars when gas prices drop, causing a hesitation in the rapid adoption rate of EVs.
  2. "Grid Crisis" - The demand for EVs will be tempered by a spike in the cost of electricity production during a window where demand exceeds supply.  It will take quite a while to ramp up our infrastructure to the extent necessary to handle an EV in every American garage, and I think that is not fully realized.

Still, even if he is off by a few years, this is still a significant prediction.