Electric Cars Left Behind As Oil Price Plunges

cartoonPlug-in electric vehicles failed to win over U.S. consumers amid the auto industry’s record sales in 2015, as low gasoline costs and daunting sticker prices damped demand. Americans bought just 102,600 such vehicles in 2015, a 17 percent decline from the previous year, according to researcher Autodata. Persuading car buyers to choose electric got more difficult as gasoline slid to $2 a gallon by the end of last year. “Why should I go electric and pay more when gas is so cheap?” Ludwig Willisch, chief executive officer of BMW of North America, said in an interview.  –Dana Hull, Bloomberg, 6 January 2016

The car industry has been moving towards more hybrids and EVs for some time, but this year’s CES almost made gas look like a thing of the past. Problem is, with gas so cheap in the U.S., nobody here is buying these things right now. Given the chance, Americans will default to bigger cars every time. Not hybrids and EVs, but trucks and SUVs. The result is what industry folks are calling a “two-tier market”: one market full of SUVs and trucks people actually buy, and one with the “money-losing compliance vehicles” of EVs and hybrids people aren’t buying. And if you’re an automaker without the intensive capital to develop those cars, you’re kinda screwed. —Patrick George, Jalotnik, 7 January 2016

When U.S. President Barack Obama visits Detroit’s annual auto show on Jan. 20, exactly one year before he leaves office, he is expected to tout how much the industry has changed since he orchestrated a federally funded rescue in 2009. But many of the changes on display at the city’s annual auto show will not reflect the green-transport revival the president envisioned. The ‘Detroit Three’ automakers racked up record sales and profits in the U.S. market last year not because of electric cars or plug-in hybrids, but because of soaring demand for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles fueled by gasoline prices that hit multi-year lows. –David Shepardson and Paul Ingrassia, Reuters, 11 January 2016

The UK Government’s hopes for a mass market in electric vehicles within the next 10-15 years could be doomed, an automotive manufacturer has warned. Ministers see electric vehicles as key to decarbonising the UK’s transport sector, and meeting the Climate Change Act 2008 target for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases against 1990 levels by 2050. But an automotive firm has told the CCC that manufacturers are currently selling electric cars at a loss and the market is failing to grow in the way some forecasts predicted. –Andrew Foster, TransportXtra, 8 January 2016

While the persistent plunge in oil prices is good news for consumers at the gas pump, it’s bad news for some parts of the green economy. Lower fuel costs could choke off investment in some of the clean energy technologies needed to reduce planet-warming emissions and meet global climate change targets, analysts say. In the U.S., where the average gasoline price dropped below $2 a gallon this week, sales of fuel-efficient and lower-emissions vehicles are already giving way to gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. –Maria Galluci, International Business Times, 23 December 2015

A desperate situation can sometimes be best summed up by numbers. Here’s one that neatly captures the effect the oil price crash has had on the London market. The combined market value of 112 publicly traded oil companies — the entirety of Britain’s listed industry excluding the top three of Shell, BP and BG — is the same as that of Marks & Spencer: £7bn. The primary culprit for this collective capsize is the oil price. In the North Sea this has led to a disastrous contraction, threatening an industry that employs more than 375,000 people and was, until recently, one of the richest sources of tax revenue for the exchequer. Last year the Office for Budget Responsibility predicted that 2016 tax revenue would fall to £600m, a 95% drop from the £12.9bn generated for the exchequer in 2009. Even that low figure may prove optimistic. –Danny Fortson, The Sunday Times, 10 January 2016

Trackback from your site.

Leave a comment (newest first):

Comments (17)

  • Avatar

    Al Shelton

    |

    quote: “Ministers see electric vehicles as key to decarbonising the UK’s transport sector, and meeting the Climate Change Act 2008 target for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases against 1990 levels by 2050.”
    I am sick and tired of statement like these.
    CO2 does NOT cause global warming, hence “climate change”.
    How can a doubling of CO2 from 400ppm to 800ppm raise global temperatures 2C degrees?
    400ppm=1ppm/2500.
    In other words 1 molecule of CO2 has to raise the temperature of the other 2499 molecules of N2 and O2, 2C degrees.
    THAT is one helluva lot of heat for 1 molecule of CO2 to “trap” like a “blanket”.
    Absurdity at the max IMO.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

    |

    As Al says “absurdity at the max ” . The scientific community does a disservice to humanity and the animal kingdom by promoting the earth has a fever scam .

    One can understand some politicians , bankers ,and bird blender promoters but anyone that claims to be a scientist who is still pushing the alarmist nonsense has missing basic principles of science . Prove your hypothesis and clearly lay out the uncertainties or you are conning people .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Krugar

    |

    Worldwide
    2014 – 320,000 elective cars sold
    2015 – 447,000 electric cars sold
    A 40% increase.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    ImStillaYankee

    |

    [quote name=”Krugar”]Worldwide
    2014 – 320,000 elective cars sold
    2015 – 447,000 electric cars sold
    A 40% increase.[/quote]

    Your point? Are we supposed to be impressed or are you actually mocking the feeble number of vehicles sold?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Krugar

    |

    My point is that electric cars sales are actually increasing which refutes the main point of the article.
    The numbers may be small now but, contrary to the article, is expanding rapidly and a leader in the development of other important technologies such as the making of a better battery.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    ImStillaYankee

    |

    [quote name=”Krugar”]My point is that electric cars sales are actually increasing which refutes the main point of the article.
    The numbers may be small now but, contrary to the article, is expanding rapidly and a leader in the development of other important technologies such as the making of a better battery.[/quote]

    Ok then. Forgetting for a moment that the author never once mentioned electric vehicles or their numbers, I absolutely love my phev (Ford CMax Energi), the numbers are only as ‘large’ as they are because of government mandates. If left to laws of supply & demand, sales wouldn’t be much higher than 10-20% of your number. I see no problem with an ‘all of the above’ approach but trying to kill 1 industry in favor of another that’s more expensive is asinine. As is the emperor being allowed to dictate the mandate to appease his largest contributors. Throwing your biggest money makers a nice bone is one thing, handing them the keys to the entire castle is quite something else.
    One thing that’s really bothered me about the renewed push for electric vehicles–absolutely no one (especially the greenies) have mentioned what’s going to happen to all those lithium batteries once they reach the end of their lifespan. It’s a major reason Jimmy Carter’s big push for electric cars in the late 1970’s crashed & burned. Environmentalists became appalled at the thought of millions of batteries ending up in landfills. I know there are methods of recycling today that they didn’t have 35 years ago but to do so on such a large scale?

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Krugar

    |

    [quote name=”ImStillaYankee”][quote name=”Krugar”]

    Ok then. Forgetting for a moment that the author never once mentioned electric vehicles or their numbers, [/quote]
    8
    I suggest you put on your glasses and reread the article.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    ImStillaYankee

    |

    [quote name=”Krugar”][quote name=”ImStillaYankee”][quote name=”Krugar”]

    Ok then. Forgetting for a moment that the author never once mentioned electric vehicles or their numbers, [/quote]
    8
    I suggest you put on your glasses and reread the article.[/quote]

    Wow, not sure why I put that in there. I bet that had you scratching your head!:-)

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Me

    |

    Wow, not sure why I put that in there. I bet that had you scratching your head!:-)

    Really, it’s because you put it there for only reasons you know!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Erich Schindl

    |

    Don’t forget: The very high starting torque of an electric motor needs to be distributed to all four wheels. Only that is technically correct. Hence, a good electric car has to have a four-wheel-drive with two or four motors. A two-wheel drivetrain is a wrong solution for electric cars and it seems that only Tesla knows this technical fact.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    amirlach

    |

    Moron-ski the banned Troll-ski seemed to miss the title of the thread.

    “Electric Cars Left Behind As Oil Price Plunges.”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    amirlach

    |

    [img]http://amindbodyproblem.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/if_it_disagrees_with_experiment_its_wrong_by_richard_feynman.jpg[/img]

    Dozens of CAGW Models ZERO! Reality one!
    [img]http://amindbodyproblem.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/if_it_disagrees_with_experiment_its_wrong_by_richard_feynman.jpg[/img]

    Reply

  • Avatar

    JayPee

    |

    Richard Feynman
    pronounced

    Rick-ard Fine-mahn

    His lectures at Cornell are available on tape/CD and some on video as well as print.

    Those lectures cover the entirety of physics as of his lifetime.

    He knew it so coldly he frequently laughed while explaining the incongruities and paradoxes of which there was no resolution but to accept them because nothing else worked.

    He considered the entirety of it to be in a state of flux as Einstein did with everything subject to question and re-evaluation through exhaustive experimentation .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    JayPee

    |

    BTW

    Feynmann never made arrogant declaratory judgements

    and NEVER declared them to be indisputable
    as have

    Michael Mann
    Jim Hansen
    Noam Chomsky

    Never, not once

    But of course, we all realize that

    Mann, Hansen and Chomsky
    were much smarter.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Robert

    |

    [quote name=”amirlach”]Moron-ski the banned Troll-ski seemed to miss the title of the thread.[/quote]

    Really, he was finally banned? The only regret I have with regard to that is that I missed whatever thread he went batcrap on. I imagine it was fairly entertaining.

    Reply

Leave a comment

Loading Disqus Comments ...

No Trackbacks.