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Stanford study says fossil-fueled cars will vanish in 8 years as ‘big oil’ collapses

Stanford study says fossil-fueled cars will vanish in 8 years as ‘big oil’ collapses

A new study published by Stanford University suggests that fossil-fueled cars will vanish within eight years – and citizens will have no choice but to invest in electric vehicles or similar technologies. This is because the cost of electric vehicles – including cars, buses, and trucks – will ultimately decrease, resulting in the collapse of the petroleum industry.

Led by Stanford University economist Tony Seba, the report has caused spasms of anxiety within the oil industry. Entitled “Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030,” it details how people will ultimately switch to self-driving electric vehicles, as they are ten times cheaper to maintain than cars that run on fossil fuels and have a near-zero marginal cost of fuel. Additionally, EVs have an expected lifespan of 1 million miles. In comparison, most fossil-based cars barely last 200,000 miles.
Seba predicts that in less than a decade, it will become very difficult for consumers to find petrol stations, spares or mechanics knowledgeable enough to fix combustion engines. His ultimate premise is that modern-day car dealerships will disappear by 2024 as the long-term price of oil falls to $25 USD a barrel. Those who cling to their outdated cars will probably have to pay to dispose of them in the future, says Seba. In the author’s own words, there will be a “mass stranding of existing vehicles.”

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The Sanford researcher is also confident that within the next decade, humans will predominantly rely on self-driving vehicles as they are significantly less dangerous.
“We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history,” said Seba. “Internal combustion engine vehicles will enter a vicious cycle of increasing costs. What the cost curve says is that by 2025 all new vehicles will be electric, all new buses, all new cars, all new tractors, all new vans, anything that moves on wheels will be electric, globally.”
The Professor estimates that the “tipping point” will occur in the next two to three years when EV batteries surpass 200 miles and electric car prices plummet to $30,000 USD. By 2022, the low-end models will be sold for as low as $20,000. Following that, it will be the death of big oil.
+ Stanford
Via Financial Post
Images via Pixabay


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9 thoughts on “Stanford study says fossil-fueled cars will vanish in 8 years as ‘big oil’ collapses”

  • Mark Roest

    txlonerider, the whole battery, lithium, other minerals, and cooling system included, is currently up to or somewhat under 5 kG/kWh. Tesla says they’re down below 10% Lithium. So your numbers are way out of date.

  • Mark Roest

    We’ll have a system for converting existing cars to battery-electric, and the engines can go to recycling plants. Tony’s right about batteries!

  • Mark Goldes

    Future electric vehicles will have on-board recharge and unlimited range. They will become power plants when suitably parked, selling electricity. See Moving Beyond Oil at

  • معماری

    Yeah, it’s called finite resource

  • webbrowan

    I personally don’t think that the big oil companies will entirely disappear. They have such strong finance and I’m sure that many will have government loans to fall back on if there is even a slight hint of decline in the industry. So many countries are reliant on their fossil fuel exports to survive. Unless there is more down to encourage alternative energy production, there will always be one of these big polluters still standing…

  • crkuhns1

    Source: Global Lithium LLC 2016 Most of the known supply of lithium is in Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Australia and China. The supply is ample and concerns of global shortages are speculative. To attain at one ton of lithium, Latin America uses 750 tons of brine, the base material for lithium, and adds 24 months of preparation. Lithium can also be recycled an unlimited number of times, and it is said that 20 tons of spent Li-ion batteries yield one ton of lithium. This will help the supply, but recycling can be more expensive than harvesting a new supply through mining.

  • Filthy Rich

    Funny Ted because at current ‘known’ reserves in the world there is enough Lithium for 100 Tesla gigafactories to last FIFTY YEARS. Nice try though.

  • txlonerider

    According to Google, in 2008 world Li reserves where 13 million tonnes of Lithium. From a bit of searching, 8 grams of Li per Watt-hour of storage, let’s assume we are better by a factor of 2, so 4g/Wh of storage. Or 4kG/kWh. A base Tesla battery is 60 kWh, or 240kG of Lithium used, or 0.264609 tonnes. 130,000,000 tonnes / 0.264609 tonnes is about 49,129,167 cars. Sounds like a lot of cars, not really, considering annual car sales, world wide is 77,800,000. So, if everyone bought a Tesla for one year we could outstrip the worlds Lithium reveres. So let’s say, that really, we get cars with 1/4 the capacity, so we have the reserves for 196,516,666 cars, great, according to wiki there are estimated 263.6 million registered. So we could almost replace every passenger car in the US. So then, we would be exactly in the same position with Lithium that people believe we are in with oil/gas.

  • Ted Clark

    Yeah, it’s called finite resource – lithium. Unfortunately Musk hasn’t revealed that there isn’t enough to produce his latest mass production car, Model S. Lithium is mined and is rare. Good luck with this thesis Stanford.


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