Tesla is the beginning of the end for oil?

A good find by our friends at EV Obsession, apparently a trade magazine from the oil industry, Alberta Oil, has put a Tesla Model S electric car on its cover (“Hell on wheels”) and published an article with this title and sub-title: “Is Tesla’s Model-S the Beginning of the End for Oil? Why battery technology could drive the electric vehicle to new heights – and disrupt the fossil fuel industry in the process”.

You get the feeling that the thinking of many inside the oil industry is starting to change; for the longest time, most of the comments and official forecasts from the industry basically said that, yes, electric vehicles are coming, but they won’t be a big deal for many decades, and that maybe in 30-40 years they’ll represent a few percents of the vehicles out there.

Tesla on industry magazine - end for oil? (Image: Wikipedia)

Tesla on industry magazine – end for oil? (Image: Wikipedia)

This reassuring (for them) prognostication about the status quo was repeated like a mantra until even most people who heard it over and over in the media accepted it as truth. But that’s not how things work. We can’t know that far in advance how things will be, and if you had asked someone in 2006 whether billions of people were going to own super-powerful internet-connected smartphones within less than a decade, they’d have thought you were crazy. What looks obvious in hindsight isn’t obvious at all looking forward. Why? Because change is non-linear. Things move slowly for a long time, and then you reach a special tipping point where change accelerates. For example, solar power adoption was relatively slow until the price per watt of solar started getting close to other sources (first with incentives, and now without). That changed the game and things shifted in a higher gear. And as we get close to solar being cheaper than all other sources of energy, things will shifter in even higher gear…

Read more: Treehugger

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