It occurred to me today that there is a good chance I will never buy another gasoline powered engine in my life. Not that I buy a lot of engines now, but I have every intention that my next car will be a battery powered electric car, my next motorcycle will be electric. I don’t need a lawn mower or snowblower, but there are good electric options for those too.
Is this is how the trend of change happens, ie. once electric starts to tip past some sense of cost/value that suddenly the old tech sales will plumet, as everyone switches to new electric vehicles?
If that sentiment of switching to electric holds for the broader market then it doesn’t look good for the future prospects of the oil and gas sector. Transportation is the bulk of the demand for oil products and if the demand drops without a matching drop in the supply side, prices of oil will fall. Admitedly, these market shifts don’t happen overnight. The average car is on the road for something like 8-10 years. That’s a long enough horizon to make it hard to see the trend while we’re in the middle of it.
Electrification of the transportation market is a global mega trend. All of the major car companies have plans to produce a full lineup of electric cars in the early 2020s.
China is installing electric car charging stations at a pace of 40,000 per month! The chinese market is creating hundreds of small electric car companies – growth, diversity, and innovation. This Chinese growth is against a national goal to reduce the need for oil imports.
With those long term visions and global trends in mind the future of the market viability for the Canadian oil sands looks bleak for the late 2020s. Canada missed it’s window to develop the export capacity it needed to maintain marketshare before the market for oil collapses.
That collapse all started when Obama made a simple change that removed oil as a strategic asset for the USA and allowed companies to start exporting it. That decision started a gold rush of investment to develop more fields and start to push into the global oil market as a seller. It was then that Canada should have known the market for US To buy Canadain oil would start to dry up. CN should have quickly reacted with more trains to start shoring up global marketshare. Now it seems too late. Building a pipeline, even if construction started today would take several years to become operational, and then how many more years to break even on the ROI? If that ROI pushes into 2030 timeframe when electric cars are into full swing will it be a good investment?
Should government prop up declining industries?
I’m hoping to get off of combustion engines in 2020. Then no more gas stations or oil changes. The future is electric.