#1 – Peak in oil due to EVs confirmed by Big Oil
Record breaking sales in the first quarter of 2017 reaffirm the trend set by the healthy sales growth experienced in the sector during 2016. All expectations are that 2017 would even be better and that the deluge of new models reaching dealership floors by the end of the decade will sustain the growth into the next decade, causing many stakeholders to adjust their forecasts upwards. We have covered most of these forecast adjustments, but the one sector that is forever dissing the sector, Big Oil, has as recent as Week 9 2017 maintained that the disruption caused by EV’s is overstated.
Finally, this week during the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Conference voices from the sector came out signaling that EV penetration will hurt oil demand. Total SA’s Chief Energy Economist, Joel Couse, projected that the impact of electric vehicles would cause the demand for oil to flatten or even decline by 2030. The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell shared the same sentiments recently as the company trimmed their forecasts, indicating that oil demand my peak by the late 2020’s. The reasoning behind the shift in outlook is sparked by electric vehicles being able to compete with combustion vehicles in both performance and price as battery prices decline.
Michael Liebreich, the founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, pointed out that there would be 120 models across the spectrum by 2020. He was quoted further saying what we already know – ”These are great cars. They will make the internal combustion equivalent look old fashioned.”
Picture Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
#2 – VW continue to see electric vehicles only as a niche going into the next decade
The recent surge in Tesla‘s share price, which is close to the first target of $320 called by wattEV2Buy on the 3rd of April, has put a spotlight on traditional vehicle manufacturer electric vehicle strategies. VWs CEO, Mr. Matthias Müller, this week reprimanded the media for getting too carried away with the “New Beats Old” storyline. Mr. Müller was quoted by The Financial Times at the Vienna Auto Show on Friday, responding to Tesla‘s surge – “This has little to do wth the reality on our streets. The VW Group produced 10.3m vehicles last year – Tesla around 80,000, and the fact is, electric mobility continues to be niche. VW only see’s that one out of four of its vehicles would be electric by 2025.
The world’s largest automaker will spend around €20bn by 2022 on cleaner engines, of which only 45%, or €9bn, would be on alternative drive tech, which at least is a trebling over the amount of only €3bn spent over the last five years. The €9bn budget is less than the €11bn earmarked by fellow German automaker, Mercedes, over the same period. Analysts have been concerned over certain automakers conservative electric vehicle strategies in the face of Tesla and China‘s dominance in the sector.
#3 – Bollore exits the electric vehicle sector
The French industrialist, Vincent Bollore, one of the pioneers of the current electric vehicle revolution announced that he would retreat from the sector. Bollore introduced some of the first car-sharing schemes at the start of the decade, using its own vehicle the Bollore Blue Car, It created a second car, the Bollore Blue Summer, but contracted it out to Citroen, which sells it’s as the Citroen Mehari. Mr. Bollore cited that he can’t compete with only one car in the market as more and more players crowd it. Bollore will focus on its strengths, being battery technology, and will apply it in its grid storage and mass transit vehicles. Those who follows the data for France in our Global EV Sales section would have noticed that hardly any Blue Cars were sold in the country this year. Bollore uses a Lithium Metal Polymer Battery, which is not suited for cars, as the chemistry consume electricity even when off.
#4 – India to go all electric by 2030
India is set to introduce policies and support the country’s electric vehicle industry for three years as it targets to have a 100% electric fleet by 2030, in a bid to save on fuel import cost. The announcement was made by the country’s Energy Minister, Mr. Piyush Goyal at the CII Annual Session in New Delhi.
#5 – Tesla shareholder to unveil its own electric vehicle
Tencent-backed Future Mobility is set to unveil its concept vehicle this year with the intent on starting production in 2019. Tencent recently acquired a significant stake in Tesla by purchasing 5% of the US companies stock in the open market, making one wonder how it will impact on the investment with which it aims to compete. The concept vehicle is said to be a midsized SUV priced around $45,000. Chinese internet companies such as Tencent and Baidu are increasingly becoming active in the vehicle market as the bounds between cars and vehicle are falling away. Baidu introduced it’s Appollo self-driving platform last week, opening it up to developers to join in its development.