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Power Transportation The Almighty Buck Technology

All Fossil-Fuel Vehicles Will Vanish In 8 Years, Says Stanford Study (financialpost.com) 1058

Stanford University economist Tony Seba forecasts in his new report that petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks will no longer be sold anywhere in the world within the next eight years. As a result, the transportation market will transition and switch entirely to electrification, "leading to a collapse of oil prices and the demise of the petroleum industry as we have known it for a century," reports Financial Post. From the report: Seba's premise is that people will stop driving altogether. They will switch en masse to self-drive electric vehicles (EVs) that are ten times cheaper to run than fossil-based cars, with a near-zero marginal cost of fuel and an expected lifespan of 1 million miles. 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 2,000 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 long-term price of crude will fall to $25 a barrel. Most forms of shale and deep-water drilling will no longer be viable. Assets will be stranded. Scotland will forfeit any North Sea bonanza. Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Venezuela will be in trouble.
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All Fossil-Fuel Vehicles Will Vanish In 8 Years, Says Stanford Study

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  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:41PM (#54429845)

    Stanford University economist Tony Seba forecasts in his new report that petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks will no longer be sold anywhere in the world within the next eight years.

    Itâ(TM)s a stretch to say this for passenger autos, and maybe even busses that already run on alternative fuels. I donâ(TM)t see this in 8 to 10 years for heavy equipment and trucks. As well, there are many more things than cars, buses, trucks, planes, and heavy equipment that run on fossil fuels, oil producers will have business for a long time to come.

    They will switch en masse to self-drive electric vehicles (EVs) that are ten times cheaper to run than fossil-based cars, with a near-zero marginal cost of fuel and an expected lifespan of 1 million miles. 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 2,000 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.

    This is going to happen within 8 years? It will still be a dream in 8 years, closer, but still a dream⦠Pie in the sky from egg-headed Chardonnay swilling Stanford quiche eaters.
    Also from the actual article:

    The long-term price of crude will fall to US$25 a barrel.

    No.

    • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:44PM (#54429865) Homepage Journal

      We all know this is insane. BeauHD's playing a game to see how many /.'ers will spend time tying to refute a preposterous article.

      cf. https://xkcd.com/386/ [xkcd.com]

      • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pipingguy ( 566974 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @08:08PM (#54430483)
        Journalism is dead. It's pretty much now all speculation, opinion via "expert" talking heads, rumor-mongering, agenda-advancing, "awareness-raising", etc.
        • Re:No. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Tranzistors ( 1180307 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @02:52AM (#54432001)

          Journalism is dead.

          BEGIN RANT; What is it with you people and declaring things dead? BSD has been dying for decades and you still haven't got the clue. God has been dead for a freaking century. Right now “X is dead” should be read as “X has suffered a bit, maybe”.END RANT;

          It's pretty much now all speculation, opinion via "expert" talking heads, rumor-mongering, agenda-advancing, "awareness-raising", etc.

          Did you snowflakes grew up in a loving, trusting households where everyone was perfectly honest and really well informed about all the topics they talked about? I'm sorry to inform you, but people have made shit up for quite a while. The Financial Post article doesn't even claim that the author is right, just reports on what the author says, and it is clearly a speculation. If you want an expert panel discussion, there are plenty of those. If you find that even those are speculative, I'm sorry, but all discussions about future are speculations.

      • Re:No. (Score:5, Funny)

        by fizzer06 ( 1500649 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @08:46PM (#54430727)
        I guess refuting this preposterous article is a fool's errand. But I've been sent on many a fool's errand.

        I once made the mistake of asking why and was told it's because I'm the right man for the job,

      • Re:No. (Score:5, Funny)

        by methano ( 519830 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @09:00PM (#54430825)
        "Venezuela will be in trouble"

        That's really going out on a limb.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rogoshen1 ( 2922505 )

      wishful fucking thinking.
      Also willing to wager that among people outside of the hipster crowd, those who fetishize technology, or people unfortunate to live in traffic infested ratholes like the bay area they'll have to pry steering wheels out of cold, dead hands.

    • Re: No. (Score:5, Funny)

      by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:53PM (#54429925)

      Someone got into the medical lab's LSD stash

    • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by barc0001 ( 173002 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:57PM (#54429953)

      It's pie in the sky dreaming you mean, not a stretch. I'd be astonished if 50% of the passenger cars in the developed world were electric in 8 years, let alone the globe. And that doesn't even touch commercial vehicles, motorcycles, trains, etc all of which will be much lower in electric share.

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      No.

      Thanks for your opinion. You really backed it up with some great information for us to have a discussion around. I'm betting (with my money in the stock market) that exactly what he described will happen within a decade.
    • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stinerman ( 812158 ) <nathan.stine@DEG ... om minus painter> on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @07:27PM (#54430205) Homepage

      I would go as far to say that in 8 years ICE vehicles will still outsell non-ICE vehicles.

    • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @07:31PM (#54430235)

      . I donÃ(TM)t see this in 8 to 10 years for heavy equipment and trucks. As well, there are many more things than cars, buses, trucks, planes, and heavy equipment that run on fossil fuels, oil producers will have business for a long time to come.

      Right if the bulk of auto did shift to electric it would still represent a collapse in the demand, and a collapse in the price.

      Of course if such a price collapse actually started it would change the economics in favor of owning a gas powered vehicle. Meanwhile the price of electricity is likely to go up, as the massive vehicle energy consumption shifts to the grid.

      Predicting the future is hard; who knew.

      This is going to happen within 8 years? It will still be a dream in 8 years

      Yeah... i don't really see it either. I'll be impressed if electrics dominate new car sales in 8 years. I just can't see it being a complete transition that quickly.

      They will switch en masse to self-drive electric vehicles (EVs) that are ten times cheaper to run than fossil-based cars, with a near-zero marginal cost of fuel and an expected lifespan of 1 million miles.

      There is nothing about electrics that will get them up to 1 million miles.

      The reason TDIs "only" get to 300k and 400k before giving up is not the engines. Hell if the car is in great shape otherwise, you just rebuild the engine and keep going... but the car usually isn't in great shape by that point ... the typical TDI with 400k kms on it is pretty dilapidated -- the seats are finished, the interior has rips and stains, the glovebox is broken, the exterior is covered in scuffs and dents and chips, the trunk release is broken, the struts for the hatch are gone, maybe the sunroof or powerlocks are gone, the suspension is due for replacement -- again... and it just becomes more sensible to replace the car than to fix it with everything else that is wrong.

      Theoretical long lived electrics are going to have exactly the same issue. Even if the engine can go to a million, who is going to spend the money to replace the suspension and brakes when the car is otherwise dilapidated and the whole car isn't worth the cost of the new shocks and pads and rotors and wheel bearings and cv-joints....the TDI engine is already outlasting the rest of the car.

      • by fnj ( 64210 )

        Utter nonsense. 300-400,000 km is NOTHING. The body may have salt corrosion if it's in the rust belt, but otherwise there is no reason for dilapidation unless the owner is a pig. My 1999 TDI has well over 300,000 km. The upholstery is fine, the interior is not torn or stained, the glovebox, sunroof, locks, and trunk release all work fine. The struts for the hatch and the hood are like new. Never touched a CV joint. Brakes and suspension have been (minimally) maintained and are fine.

        The engine and transmissi

      • by Megane ( 129182 )

        I previously had a small SUV that I took from about 29K to about 230K miles. At that point, really the only thing still working was the engine. The A/C used old Freon and had been too leaky to even bother to repair, the door latch to the driver side door had broken and I had to enter on the passenger side, the driver side window mounts had broken and the window fell into the door just before I got a new SUV. And the paint had long flaked off (crappy '90s GM paint job) I don't remember the condition of the d

    • Caterpillar did a study about 10 years ago on hybrid electric vs hybrid hydraulic for excavators IIRC, and at that point came to the conclusion that electric was not viable (yet). But, they did look into it and come to a conclusion "back then." The outcome will likely change in the future, although I doubt 2,500 HP off-road equipment will transition to pure electric for a while.

      At roughly 500 HP, semi trailers are not a big hurdle to go electric; it really just comes down to the economics when it comes to
      • by ganv ( 881057 )
        Self-driving will come...probably more slowly than this article proposes. But self-driving electric cars don't make oil prices collapse. If they keep oil prices low, that will allow a lot more Chinese and Indian buyers to buy their first gasoline car. And while it is easy to see how self-driving electric cars can replace $35k cars for commuting in US and Europe when oil is $70 per barrel, it is harder to see the economics working for electric cars replacing $12k first cars for families in Asia when oil i
        • Re: No. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @11:21PM (#54431489)

          NO car available for retail purchase TODAY is capable of autonomous driving. Not even Tesla officially claims their autopilot can safely deal with anything besides lanekeeping & collision-avoidance... and even then, can only safely run at full speed on limited-access divided highways that aren't construction zones, or at low speed in bumper-to-bumper gridlock on city streets. They'll *allow* you to use autopilot under more experimental conditions, but it's not a feature they officially advertise (because they could take it away at any time with a pushed software update).

          As for "cars will be stranded in place, and owners will have to pay for disposal" -- 8 years from now -- the author is frankly nuts. The only way that could happen is if the government banned gas-fueled vehicles. Republicans would never vote for such a law at any time in the conceivable future, and I'd guess that probably 95% of DEMOCRATS would hold their noses & vote Republican if it were the only way to avoid having their most (or second-most) expensive asset rendered worthless by Democrats... which is why the Democrats wouldn't do it, either.

          The author also egregiously underestimates the impact of a car's sunk cost. Even if gas soared to $20/gallon & electricity were free, it STILL wouldn't be economically worthwhile for people who've spent $30k-$60k or more for a car to just dump it... even MORESO if resale values tanked.

          Not to mention, the free tax ride electric car owners currently enjoy won't last forever. I give 20 years, max, until at least 80% of states abolish gas taxes & replace them with some alternative that electric car owners can't sidestep (like tax meters on charging stations).

      • Fully autonomous semi-trucks will arrive well before electric ones. The amount of batteries you'd need to 1) haul that much weight and 2) last for the long haul trips that most of these trucks make would severely reduce the cargo capacity both volumetrically and more importantly by weight.

        Let's assume a low number of 200 gallons of fuel for a semi truck. Diesel is roughly 7lbs/gallon so around 1400 lbs of fuel. Current estimates are that average semi-trucks get around 6.5 MPG, so a range of 1300 mi per fill

    • Re:No. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by catchblue22 ( 1004569 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @08:30PM (#54430615) Homepage

      I see a lot of people confidently asserting opinions here without actually giving arguments refuting much of anything in the source article. So let's do some basic cost calculations. Let's say that your electric car has a capacity of 85kWh. That capacity with the very heavy Tesla Model S will give you an approximate EPA range [wikipedia.org] of 426km (265 miles). If your electricity cost was $0.15/kWh, that means the cost to charge your car fully from empty would be $0.15/kWh x 85kWh = $12.75. Since you would seldom fully empty your car battery fully, you would typically charge less than this, and it is likely the EPA range does not bring the battery to full empty. Even so, I will assume the price of driving the range of 426km would still be $12.75 (charged from the charger in your garage...fully charged when you get up). This gives an electric cost of $12.75/426km = $0.0299/km.

      Now let us consider a gasoline car. I'll assume an optimistic 10L/100km. That would mean that driving 426km would use 426/100 x 10 = 42.6L of gasoline. Gasoline costs $1.32/L where I live, but let's give it a cheaper price of $1.11/L. This would give a cost for driving 426km of 42.6L x $1.11/L = $47.29. The cost per km would be $47.29/426km = $0.111/km. In other words gasoline costs $0.111/$0.0299 = 3.7 x more or 370% more than electric per km! Electric cars are simpler. The battery technology is constantly improving. There are Tesla electric cars that have driven 200000 miles [techcrunch.com] with no battery replacement (the car linked to here did have its battery replaced at 200000 miles, but it actually had most of its range, and it is likely Tesla wanted to examine the battery). Recent improvements [electrek.co] in battery technology promise batteries that will last the life of the car. The announcement referred to here was in reference to an increased voltage battery chemistry that showed 92% capacity remaining after 1200 charge cycles. If your car has a range of 230 miles per charge cycle, than that would allow the car 230 miles x 1200 = 276000 miles and still have 92% battery capacity! For most of us, that would be longer than the lifetime of a fossil fuel car.

      The cost of the cells is already dropping precipitously [electrek.co]. The trend shown over the last few years is going to continue. There is no such trend in gasoline cars. Costs are for fossil fuel cars are going up. Electric cars will appear at lower and lower points in the market, first in the used market, and later in the new car market. In the end, electric cars will be the only economical choice. It is simple physics and economics. You can deny it all you want, but in the end, physics will win. Steam won over horse transportation because it was cheaper and better. Gasoline won over steam power because it was cheaper and better. Electric will win over gasoline because it is cheaper and better.

      • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Comrade Ogilvy ( 1719488 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @10:14PM (#54431225)
        The physics is not there yet, but 5 or 10 or 15 years in the future we might well be there. Batteries are improving but the manufacturing cost of the batteries themselves still make the cost of electricity to charge them a round off error. So your numbers are incomplete and misleading, the cost of the batteries hidden by choosing a luxury vehicle as the data point.
      • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @11:37PM (#54431533)

        This would give a cost for driving 426km of 42.6L x $1.11/L = $47.29. The cost per km would be $47.29/426km = $0.111/km. In other words gasoline costs $0.111/$0.0299 = 3.7 x more or 370% more than electric per km!

        I don't know where you live, but where I live, its about 70cents or so for the gas, and another 40 cents per liter in taxes. Doing the math at 10L / 100 means $4 in taxes per 100km... or 4 cents taxes per km.

        That's more in TAXES per km than your electric vehicle costs in electricity right now. If you think the government is going to let that revenue disappear your nuts... so for a realistic comparison take your 0.0299 cents/km... and add 4 cents taxes to it. Because that's probably how its going to go.

        Suddenly, the electric ... is still better but its 7 cents vs 11 cents, which is a LOT less dramatic.

        Costs are for fossil fuel cars are going up.

        A large drop in demand, say due to millions of people turning to electrics, could turn that around though. Potentially squeezing that 7 cents to 11 cents even tighter.

        Electric will win over gasoline because it is cheaper and better.

        I think so too, i just don't think it's going to happen nearly as quickly as 8 years.

        I know tons of people who park on the street. Just drive through suburbia at night. How are they going to charge at night? My inlaws house... they couldn't get permitting to add a telsa fast charging port, they'd need a new electrical box, inspections, new wiring...big project. Millions of houses like that.

        It will happen, but it'll take a while.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Zemran ( 3101 )
        I am happy that a Tesla has managed 200,000 miles but you are missing a major part of the equation. Tesla cars cost stupid money and you could buy more than 200,000 miles worth of petrol with with the money you save by buying a petrol car. Tesla are leaking money at a ridiculous rate and could easily go bankrupt. That is without getting into the part about how and where does the average person recharge a car. The whole dream is based on everyone parking in a garage. Most people live in flats. This guy
      • A Tesla still costs $70k USD, while I can get a nice 4cyl 35+ MPG car for under $20k. Even less than that if it's used, and it will still get 35+ MPG.

      • the cost to charge your car fully from empty would be $0.15/kWh x 85kWh = $12.75

        That is like saying oil is $50/barrel and a barrel of oil is 42 gallons, so petrol should be $1.20/gallon.

        Who will pay for all the charging stations that will have to be built? What about replacing the EV's batteries every 1000 charges? What about the additional power generation needed? Tax?

        If you treble that cost you are closer to the real mark. And when you do, your EV is getting close to the cost of a petrol vehicle to operate. That is a cost which we know the population and industry is willing to pay

    • ..the article is stupid. the author is stupid.

      who the fuck is going to pay for the upfront battery costs of running 12h stints in the middle of the winter in a poor country?

      look, maybe in some 1 or 2 counties in california - but not in the world. that guy needs to get out more and check out the world.

    • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gumpish ( 682245 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @01:23AM (#54431845) Journal

      What the fuck browser are you using that's inserting fucking "smart" apostrophes?

      I need to know for my blacklist.

  • c'mon man. pay attention.
  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:43PM (#54429861)

    "Only nostalgics will cling to the old habit of car ownership."

    But In Europe, the average age of new car buyers is already over 50, has been climbing for years.

    Young people are no longer fascinated by the iron cages stuck in traffic.

    • by Spacelord ( 27899 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:57PM (#54429961)

      > But In Europe, the average age of new car buyers is already over 50, has been climbing for years.

      Yet the volume of car traffic also keeps climbing year after year, eclipsing all other modes of transportation.

      I hardly know anyone in my direct environment who doesn't have a car. Those without cars are typically city dwellers with an island mentality. The city is their island where they live and work and they hardly ever leave it. A place that's 40 minutes outside of town by car, is considered "far away" by them and they find it hard to grasp the immediate freedom that a car affords you.

      • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @07:06PM (#54430037) Homepage Journal

        I have no car and live in my island city.

        I also have a zipcar card, which grants me access to one of the three zipcars parked on the ground floor of my building's parking garage

        It's a snap to hop downstairs and take a car for the weekend to go skiing or out to Yosemite. Sure, it's expensive, but a fraction of the cost of car payment + insurance + parking + maintenance + depreciation. Here in SF it's close to $700-1000 a month for car ownership. I use zip vans more often than zip cars for moving around things actually. Other alternatives are renting at an airport for $30-50 a day which is basically free compared to the number above.

        • You're lucky your zipcar club doesn't have anyone who shits on the seats yet.
          • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @08:30PM (#54430611) Homepage

            You're lucky your zipcar club doesn't have anyone who shits on the seats yet.

            First rule of Zipcar club is that anyone who shits on the seats gets kicked out of Zipcar club.

            Really, it's not like public transit. The zipcar people know who had access to the car last, and the zipcar members know they know that, so antisocial behavior is pretty rare.

        • by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @08:41PM (#54430687) Homepage Journal

          Your $30-50/day "basically free" sounds ridiculously overpriced, and that $700-1000/mo is some kind of fantasy. I just did the math right now and the total cost of ownership for all vehicles I've ever owned over the 15 years I've been driving, including fuel, purchase price, insurance, and maintenance costs, amounts to about $8/day, under $250/mo, TCO.

    • "Only nostalgics will cling to the old habit of car ownership."

      But In Europe, the average age of new car buyers is already over 50, has been climbing for years.

      Young people are no longer fascinated by the iron cages stuck in traffic.

      Yong people or even middle age people don't buy new cars, I don't what you do in USA but almost everyone buys second hand cars here - it's just too expensive to buy new.

    • or just plain Austerity driving those numbers? I don't think the working class ever recovered from the 2008 economic crash.
  • clean (Score:5, Funny)

    by bugs2squash ( 1132591 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:44PM (#54429863)
    These morons at Stanford haven't factored in the imminent executive order mandating coal-fired SUVs.
  • if /. still had the kind of editors that once made it great, it would not be posting such an article uncritically.
     

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:48PM (#54429893) Homepage Journal

    Oh wait! He's serious?

    *Explodes in unending laughter.*

    • What's hilarious is that there is actually a really nice autonomous vehicle lab at Stanford (CARS). I've been to it and talked to the director there. They're nowhere, nowhere near ready for prime time, and this guy has dealerships vanishing by 2024.

  • Safe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:49PM (#54429899)

    >"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"

    And those of us who ENJOY driving, especially motorcycles (which can likely never be self-driving) are royally screwed. But hey, I suppose a super-safe and boring life is so much more meaningful than a a free and enjoyable one with some risk....

    Oh, make sure to ban bicycles and pedestrians too. Then start banning skateboards, roller skates/blades, horseback riding, skydiving, mounting climbing, target shooting, football, skiing, dogs, game consoles, whatever. Life is just not safe, you know.

    • by Qzukk ( 229616 )

      Don't worry, we'll let you drive on the self-driving car test tracks, complete with the random obstacles the self-driving cars are supposed to face, like a schoolbus full of orphaned future cancer-curing researchers magically appearing 3 feet in front of you, while a whole fleet of grannies just happen to wander out into the other lane from an alternate plane of existence.

      Actually, it's highly likely that there'll be places you can "go for a leisurely drive". I'm looking forward to that because it certainl

      • by Imrik ( 148191 )

        In my experience, people out for a leisurely drive are more likely to be going 10 over than 10 under. It's the people that don't enjoy driving that get so freaked out that they can't do the speed limit.

    • motorcycles (which can likely never be self-driving)

      BMW, Honda, and Yamaha have already built them. The future is here, and it looks boring as hell.

    • Re:Safe (Score:5, Informative)

      by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @08:28PM (#54430605)

      But hey, I suppose a super-safe and boring life is so much more meaningful than a a free and enjoyable one with some risk....

      The problem is that the risk isn't just to YOU, the driver, out enjoying the freedom of a recreational drive. The risk is to pedestrians, passengers of other, self-driving, cars, bicyclists, and anyone else on the road. If self-driving cars are practical and the only reason for driving a car yourself is for pleasure, is it reasonable to expect all those other people to put their lives at risk so you can enjoy that pleasure?

    • Re:Safe (Score:4, Informative)

      by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @09:26PM (#54430967)

      You cite horseback riding, that's a good example.
      Horseback riding has lost almost all its practical value, and even when it is allowed, we don't see many horses on the road. It doesn't mean those who enjoy riding are screwed. They just do it in specially designed places.
      If self driving cars become the norm, people who enjoy driving will end up in places more adapted to their hobby, like race tracks.

  • by bferrell ( 253291 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @06:51PM (#54429915) Homepage Journal

    I've seen this before. It's a variant of pump and dump... Except there is no dump.

    When I see these, there is a presumption that the populace will simply abandon billions they have invested, collectively, in rolling stock.

    Not gonna happen

    • by dargaud ( 518470 )
      It happened in photography. All amateurs and pros in the early 2000 were all like "digital photography sucks. Quality sucks. It's more expensive than film. Etc... I'm not changing." Then after a certain number of early adopters and above all a certain threshold of quality/price, the change happened in the space of 2 years. Brand new film cameras that had a lifetime of well over a decade and previous high resale value suddenly dropped to near zero. In the meantime there were new digital models every 6 months
      • There is a big difference between $3000 (moderate DSLR) and $30000 (base electric vehicle). Your analogy also falls a bit flat in that there are lots of other bits of the transportation infracstructure that work off of petroleum rather than electrons. In eight years your aren't going to see electric based container ships, 18 wheelers and aircraft.

        Will electric make deep inroads into consumer driving? Sure. Eventually. Will automated driving replace meatbags? Probably. Eventually.

        Not in a decade. May

        • by dargaud ( 518470 )
          You are correct that electric vehicles and automated driving are two different beasts and transitions to them won't necessarily happen at the same time. But to continue my analogy, there was a large infrastructure of photo shops, selling you film, processing your rolls, making your prints, etc, that almost entirely disappeared. Seen the disappearance of the current gas station in a short time would not be so surprising. It depends if they can transform into electric stations or if you'll be able to find cha
  • all cars will have holes in the sides.

  • Will there even be enough charging stations for people to travel all lengths of highway in North America with EVs? Assuming they're willing to stop that long to charge every 400 miles. Do we think this will be a solved problem for semi-trailers in that time?
    • Won't the ICE vehicles being bought today last at least 8 years?
    • by tomxor ( 2379126 )
      statistically it's not a problem because 90% of all driving is very short distances and 99% of a car's life is spent in the driveway or in a carpark (aka charging station). long trips are the exception, (i'm not saying that 90% of people don't do it at all) but it's worth considering the immense conveniences and long term economy of an electric for that initial inconvenience as charging and storage tech evolve.
      • I don't care how convienent or cheap it is. If I buy a vehicle, I buy it with all uses in mind. If a vehicle is going to be limited to short trips then I can't spend money on it, period.
  • G'on, tell me another one

  • by WheezyJoe ( 1168567 ) <fegg@@@excite...com> on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @07:05PM (#54430029)

    Stanford University economist Tony Seba forecasts in his new report that petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks will no longer be sold anywhere in the world within the next eight years.

    ...and I thought Stanford was, like, where smart people go? I mean, I'm all for EV's and all, but nothing short of an invasion of space aliens or global thermonuclear war is gonna sink fossil fuels in 8 years. Did he stick that in a footnote somewhere?
    Hell, I'd like to see what other fascinating reports Mr. Seba has published, like when when the giraffe's are going to eat our brains, or that all people will walk around around without pants by 2021, devastating the Levi Strauss Company.
    I would also like to experience the "inspiration" for this fascinating report. I expect it's green and sticky and comes from a "dispensary" in return for a "prescription" you get from a "doctor" for your "anxiety".
    I love California, I really do.

    • Stanford University economist Tony Seba forecasts in his new report that petrol or diesel cars, buses, or trucks will no longer be sold anywhere in the world within the next eight years.

      ...and I thought Stanford was, like, where smart people go? I mean, I'm all for EV's and all, but nothing short of an invasion of space aliens or global thermonuclear war is gonna sink fossil fuels in 8 years. Did he stick that in a footnote somewhere?
      Hell, I'd like to see what other fascinating reports Mr. Seba has published, like when when the giraffe's are going to eat our brains, or that all people will walk around around without pants by 2021, devastating the Levi Strauss Company.
      I would also like to experience the "inspiration" for this fascinating report. I expect it's green and sticky and comes from a "dispensary" in return for a "prescription" you get from a "doctor" for your "anxiety".
      I love California, I really do.

      8 years is unlikely, but not completely improbable.

      The thing to remember about global warming is it's real, it's serious, and sooner or later we'll deal with it because we'll simply have no choice. This guy is just arguing sooner.

      Right now the major international holdouts are the political right in the US, followed by a few semi-autocratic fossil fuel based regimes (Middle East and Russia). Europe and China are already starting to take global warming seriously even with US inaction.

      If something flips the US

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @07:06PM (#54430045)
    My car will be fine in 8 years. Not only that, it will be paid off (it's paid off now, I paid cash for it). Maybe in 20 years, but most insurance guys give me a better than 50/50 chance of being dead by then so it won't matter to me.
  • cops and firefighters. When they are forced to use all-electric police cars and fire trucks, I will believe it.

    Typically these two institutions get a pass on everything, like whenever California passes a new gun law banning this or that, cops get a free pass and they can still carry whatever they want.

  • Not going to happen in the USA, no way, no how. This "researcher" is an idiot.

    There is too much oil out there, especially in North America. Then, once we get though all that, there is a couple million boat loads of Natural Gas what will make a great motor fuel. It's going to take more than 8 years to burn all that, or make it economically viable to do anything else. Until it's cheaper to do something else, it's not going to happen. Surely they teach this stuff at Stanford... Right?

    Oh, you think electrici

  • Not totally out to lunch, but his timeline is too short and his prediction of the extent to which we'll shift to automation is too extreme. Most cars sold today are still ICE, and the time that people keep a vehicle on the road has gotten longer. People expect to drive these vehicles 10 years. He's discounting the political will of people 10 years from now who don't want their vehicles legislated off the road. These people will be disproportionately low-income, because they tend to drive older vehicles.

  • In other news, study proves that city boy in Stanford has never lived any place where people are poor and/or rural.
  • Gas stations are very low margin businesses. In fact, they pretty much only make money on store items; not gas. EV owners don't go to gas stations, so as more EV owners avoid the gas station, more gas stations go out of business. As more gas stations go out of business, it becomes increasingly inconvenient to have a gas-powered car improving the value of an EV. This is just one vicious cycle on top of the already compelling economics of EVs.

    This is going to happen so much faster than we think.

  • Obviously true, since everyone will feed their old gas guzzler into their Mr. Matter Transmogrifier and convert it into a flying humanoid robot that will carry them from destination to destination.

  • You will have to pay to dispose of your old vehicle.

    A car contains more than a ton of steel. Even if personally owned cars are all banned, people will still pay your for them just for the scrap metal they contain.

  • I live in BFE upstate new york. I can’t go anywhere without a car. We are lucky enough to have the only Target within 60 miles, and we have to drive over 100 miles to get to any kind of decent mall. A friend of mine lives in Montana, which is a huge state that has a whopping million people. There are other states out there that have even lower total populations or population per square mile.

    People who live in big cities like LA or NYC or many places in Europe are spoiled by the fact that they have

  • by mpercy ( 1085347 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @07:32PM (#54430245)

    A brilliant red Barchetta, from a better, vanished time. Fire up the willing engine, responding with a roar! Tires spitting gravel, I commit my weekly crime

    Short story the song was based on...The story, "A Nice Morning Drive," by Richard S. Foster, first appeared in the November 1973 issue of Road and Track.

    http://oppositelock.kinja.com/... [kinja.com]

    A dozen years ago things had begun changing. First there were a few modest safety and emission improvements required on new cars; gradually these became more comprehensive. The governmental requirements reached an adequate level, but they didn't stop; they continued and became more and more stringent. Now there were very few of the older models left, through natural deterioration and... other reasons.

    The safety crusade had been well done at first. The few harebrained schemes were quickly ruled out and a sense of rationality developed. But in the late Seventies, with no major wars, cancer cured and social welfare straightened out. the politicians needed a new cause and once again they turned toward the automobile. The regulations concerning safety became tougher. Cars became larger, heavier, less efficient. They consumed gasoline so voraciously that the United States had had to become a major ally with the Arabian countries. The new cars were hard to stop or maneuver quickly. but they would save your life (usually) in a 50-mph crash. With 200 million cars on the road, however, few people ever drove that fast anymore.

    Despite the extent of the safety program, it was essentially a good idea. But unforeseen complications had arisen. People became accustomed to cars which went undamaged in 10-mph collisions. They gave even less thought than before to the possibility of being injured in a crash. As a result, they tended to worry less about clearances and rights-of-way, so that the accident rate went up a steady six percent every year. But the damages and injuries actually decreased, so the government was happy, the insurance industry was happy and most of the car owners were happy. Most of the car owners, the owners of the non-MSV cars, were kept busy dodging the less careful MSV drivers, and the result of this mismatch left very few of the older cars in existence. If they weren't crushed between two 6000-pound sleds on the highway they were quietly priced into the junkyard by the insurance peddlers. And worst of all, they became targets...

    It hadn't taken long for the less responsible element among drivers to discover that their new MSVs could inflict great damage on an older car and go unscathed themselves. As a result some drivers would go looking for the older cars in secluded areas, bounce them off the road or into a bridge abutment, and then speed off undamaged, relieved of whatever frustrations caused this kind of behavior. Police seldom patrolled these out-of-the-way places, their attentions being required more urgently elsewhere, and so it became a great sport for some drivers.

  • I think all of Seba's predictions could come to pass, but it's going to take more like a generation, rather than 8 years. First of all, road-ready self drive vehicles will have to be able to coexist with human drivers until the "manual drivers" are all off the road. This is a much harder problem than operating in an all self drive world.

    It will also take time to build out the electric vehicle infrastructure and retire the massive gasoline/diesel distribution network. There will be a transitional period in which self drive cars are hybrids, rather than pure electrics.

    Finally, a world of self drive will be a world in which cars will be much more up-front expensive than today, and therefore will be all owned by fleets and operated like Uber or Lyft. This will lead to replacing all that parking at places where people live, work, eat and shop with warehouse storage at places where it proves easiest to stage vehicles to end users. This will free up all that end-user parking for more construction in place of the old parking lots. Just by itself, resculpturing urban areas will take longer than 8 years.

  • by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @09:14PM (#54430903)
    No the professor didn't claim that all Fossil Fuel vehicles will vanish in 8 years, some moron journalist fucked it up and misinterpreted it and then the submitter exaggerated it. The professor is likely responsible for the intelligent parts of the story like all new car sales will be electric in 8 years. He likely has the numbers to back it up. Also the price of oil will collapse and it will strand the assets of oil extraction companies, but not in 8 years. It will take a bit longer since most cars last 9 years (at least here in Ontario, Canada where we have winter and salt that destroys cars). The journalist then probably added the "pay for disposal of cars" since he is to poor to own a car and doesn't know they are made of metal. The submitter pulled the title out of his ass.
  • by onkelonkel ( 560274 ) on Wednesday May 17, 2017 @12:33AM (#54431719)

    I think that if we accept the notion that electric cars are going to get better and cheaper in the future, then sooner or later, maybe not in 8 tears, but maybe in 10 or 15 there will not be many ICE new cars sold. I commute 25 miles each way to work. Most any new electric can do that. That would cover about 90% of my driving. Also, I have a cottage about 250 miles away. Still a bit of a stretch but I think a Chev Bolt could just about do it. Up the range to 300 miles and it would get me to the cottage in the summer and the ski hill in the winter. That would cover 99% of my trips. The odd time I want to take a driving vacation I would rent a gas car. Hell, we did that last year, rented a mustang convertible for 10 days and drove to California and back.
     
    People always look at "now", and seem oddly blind to tomorrow. When digital cameras first showed up, I read somebody who said that digital would never replace film because cameras would have to be over 10 Mp to match the resolution of 35mm film. At the time a digital camera cost $1500 and had a resolution of 640x480 (about 0.3 Mp). Thing is, the digital cameras were roughly doubling in pixel count every year even at that time. Same thing with LCD monitors; The CAD guys at work all had $3000 21" Sonys and they were sure they would never replace them with LCDs. Now they all have 28" 4K displays, and I don't think you can actually buy a glass monitor any more.

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