We’ve become used to the mainstream press insisting that EVs aren’t selling, and that cheap gas will be the final nail in the electric coffin (most recently in a widely-cited report from Edmunds that found that car buyers are rushing to trade in their “hybrid and electric cars” for gas-guzzling SUVs).
Bloomberg, however, has long presented a more pro-EV picture. A recent article, Big Oil Is About to Lose Control of the Auto Industry, highlights a few facts that are seldom mentioned outside the EV media:
- Oil consumption has been flat for a decade – demand peaked in 2004 and has been falling ever since.
- Plug-in sales have quintupled in the last four years – global sales were 288,500 units in 2014 – and manufacturers are steadily introducing new models.
- EV battery costs have fallen 60 percent since 2010, and analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) expect them to keep declining at the same pace, bringing plug-in prices in line with those of legacy vehicles within a decade.
- Investment in biofuels, Big Oil’s preferred “clean” solution, has plunged 90 percent since peaking at $29.8 billion in 2007.
Bloomberg finds that all of these factors are converging to “weaken the link between oil and driving,” and predicts that the transportation system of the future “will look a lot different than what the major oil companies are fueling now.”
“Where we are is in an age of plenty,” said BNEF founder Michael Liebreich. “We have cheap oil, cheap gas, cheap renewables. You do have an abundance of supply in a way you haven’t had for decades. We also are in an age of competition.”
MORE: GM Exec says low oil prices won’t stop plans for electrification, MPG targets make it inevitable