People will stop driving altogether. There will be no more petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks will be sold anywhere in the world within eight years. The entire market for land transport will switch to electrification, leading to a collapse of oil prices and the demise of the petroleum industry as we have known it for a century.
This is the prediction of Stanford University economist Tony Seba. Unlike other predictions, he said it may not take long time for this see change. Only in eight years the entire scenaior of oil crisis and threats from air pollution will be completely remains back in the history. The professor’s report, with the deceptively bland title Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030, has gone viral in green circles and is causing spasms of anxiety in the established industries.
They will switch an masse to self-drive electric vehicles (EVs) that are 10 times cheaper to run than fossil-based cars, with a near-zero marginal cost of fuel and an expected lifespan of 1 million miles (1.6 million kilometres). Only nostalgics will cling to the old habit of car ownership. The rest will adapt to vehicles on demand. It will become harder to find a petrol station, spares, or anybody to fix the 2000 moving parts that bedevil the internal combustion engine. Dealers will disappear by 2024.
Cities will ban human drivers once the data confirms how dangerous they can be behind a wheel. This will spread to suburbs, and then beyond. There will be a “mass stranding of existing vehicles”. The value of second-hard cars will plunge. You will have to pay to dispose of your old vehicle. It is a twin “death spiral” for big oil and big autos, with ugly implications for some big companies on the London Stock Exchange unless they adapt in time. The shift, according to Seba, is driven by technology, not climate policies. Market forces are bringing it about with a speed and ferocity that governments could never hope to achieve.