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High Voltage Oil Saving - Last Chance For The Electric Car

Commodities / US Auto's Mar 02, 2012 - 02:32 AM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleWhether its the French-Japanese Nissan Leaf or the all American Chevrolet Volt, Chinese-American BYD and India's Reva, small scale producers of all-electric vehicles in other countries, and the infant industry's derived service providers like Israeli majority owned Better Place, times are very hard. Sales are in no way "exploding" and the reasons are starkly clear.

To be sure the Western Anglosphere, as conspiracy lovers call it, is still rooting for electric cars. Like global warming fear was expected to grease the stampede into green low carbon energy replacing all fossil fuels, electric cars were the Silver Bullet which homes in on the demon of oil dependence. Cutting oil dependence, as we know ever since the 1973 Oil Shock, almost 40 years ago, is one of the most urgent priorities that can be imagined for hard-pressed leaders.

Never mind that world oil demand increased from a year average of around 56 million barrels/day in 1973, to over 89 million barrels/day in 2011. Interestingly, this growth of world demand was a little more than OPEC's total net supply in February 2012, running at 31.1 million b/d.

Facts and figures really do not count when Great Causes are in play but if the impossible happened and the same 40-year oil movie was run, we would need two OPECs: bets on that being possible would likely be wrong way bets. Try any bet but that one. The Anglosphere elites know it - but they dont know what to do. Now read on.


Simply taking a graph of average yearly oil prices since 2000, and comparing it to the build of global warming hysteria, green energy snakeoil, and the electric car dreamride to nowhere, we find an excellent one-size-fits-all explanation. As we also know, global warming catastrophe was worn to the cord and drowned in its own hype, easily measured by how much less Al Gore can get for a 45-minute climate doom show today, against what he he could rake from the same doom show in the great years, for him, of 2006-2009.

While the show ran, however, government-friendly media in the western world told us its mainly white middle rank consumer classes of viewers and readers were simply transfixed with fear at burning oil and gas, or at least burnt by anybody else but their greedy selves. The people were crying out for any way to cut their carbon - their hero Al Gore quaffed Coca Cola Lite, with reduced CO2 content when flying in his private jet burning 2000 litres of kerosene per hour - hurrying to his next doom show. Sales of light carbon fiber bicycles, made in China and using coal energy of course, exploded. Strapped on the back of the family 4WD they looked real good on the trip down to the bottle bank, to Save the Planet by burning plastic bottles to "recycle" the oil that was used to make the bottles.

The onslaught of global warming propaganda overshot by end-2009 and has shrunk in a serious way ever since - despite global climate change never being faster, but probably not having any relation to CO2 and fossil fuels. As the UN IPCC admits in its own two-faced and dont-quote-us way. Green energy promotion is now midsize international business, enthusiastically tracked by Bloomberg

New Energy Finance every day, but the hype-to-reality and talk/do ratio has become grandiose as measured by the real world energy supply effects of green energy. Supplying useful amounts of comfort energy, but no more than that, market operators put this "energy transition" into perspective by racking up oil prices any day equities move up, and talking down oil prices any day equities fall. The fit is now almost 100% perfect, making it unnecessary to recruit and pay oil analysts anymore. In other words if the economy grows it needs more oil, stupid. If you want to save oil implode the economy, stupid.


Running the propaganda game of never let your right hand know what the other's doing, the Anglosphere elites have a countercurrent comfort theme up and running: there is probably more oil in the world than could be used in a millennium. By 2030, even 2025, the USA may become the world's biggest oil exporter dwarfing Russia and Saudi Arabia, all thanks to shale oil, gas conversion to oil, biofuels and (you guessed it) drastic cuts in US oil demand through developing all-electric car fleets. In any case, stepwise elite thinking goes, lets cut the oil demand first and then worry about the shale oil.

All major US mainstream news channels now carry clips on their Web sites showing the love affair of reliable-looking, and necessarily wealthy middle class consumers - for their Volts. GM is going to wean the US from foreign oil dependence - and by about 2030 can help the rising tide of US oil exports for an oil-hungry world, that did not adapt and survive like America. You can only believe.

To be sure, middle class Volt lovers are also happy at reducing their carbon dioxide emissions, but that is only a side dish: they are fighting to save oil for America. Like we know, around 47% of US electricity comes from coal, and another 24%, growing fast, comes from gas. Even us average idiots can calculate how their Volt operates: 71% on fossil fuels. Producing generous servings of CO2. But like we said, CO2 emissions fighting is on its way down the memory tube: oil saving is No.1

Better than that however, when the shiniest deluxe electric cars such as the Tesla Roadster, and the so-called mid-range Volt or Leaf, costing around $45 000 each, are recharged in fast charge mode they suck 50 kilowatts of power, each, which is going to do great things for the electric power industry.

Although a little complicated for average idiots to understand, 1 million of these freedom fighter cars, slaying the demon of oil dependence will suck 50 000 MW when they are plugged in together on fast mode charge - needing a mere 30 minutes wait, in your Better Place hideout.

The USA has a car fleet of about 200 million, the EU27 has a 215 million car fleet. Going into Einsteinian math for average middle class consumers is risky, but their shiny electric wagons arent cheap. Simple math, for human beings, shows a GM Volt at a promotion price of $41 000 is woefully beaten by any low cost normal car, like a GM Sonic, choosing the higher spec of this low cost model, at $15 000. Taking out the Obama tax deduction for electric car buyers of $ 7500 (in Europe the French Sarkozy regime, if it scrabbles back to power, will offer 7000 euro to Leaf buyers), this still leaves the Volt about $18 000 more expensive than the Sonic, which gets an average 30 miles per US gallon. Assuming US gasoline prices didnt double to $6 per gallon, that $18 000 difference would buy enough fuel to run about 165 000 miles, meaning that with totally free electricity, the Volt owner would need to go further than that, to save money.

Next we have to work out, with a Cray supercomputer, how much we all pay to build that 50 000 MW of new and dedicated electricity generating capacity for every 1 million planet saving Volt or Leaf owners who want to suck 50 kW for a 30-minute recharge. For sure, this isnt going to be cheap - if it is even feasible: free electricity is no more real than free gasoline. Power plants cost dosh.


Chances are, the electric car fantasy theme is already dead on its feet but has not yet fallen to the ground. Sold with a mix of fear-and-smug righteousness for people who can buy a $45 000 car, the electric car promotion is running slow. For reasons that are maybe deeply psychological, all consumer testing on electric cars shows the No. 1 problem is fear - of running out of electricity. Walking to the nearest filling station with a jerry can is different from going there to get a 400-kilogram battery, it seems, even to the middle classes. Trifling questions like how many spare batteries will be needed, costing a modest $15 000 each, kept under constant charge and ready for each and every proud electric sedan, are'nt worth asking the middle classes: they might reply that 4 or 5 would be really nice.

Ask Better Place.

Consumer fear of running out, of electricty, can be easily related to elite Anglosphere fears of running out of oil. Likely coming from the same deep origins, the need for comfort and guidance is clear, although good toilet training in the infancy of both groups could be more productive. Comparable also to climate change which is real, and global warming which is not, the fake fear of electricity shortage among a hypothetical future mass middle class ownership group is unreal - because mass electric cars, like Iran bombing, simply wont happen or if it did, the results would be disastrous.

Talk is great, talk is fine. Confusing real climate change with fake burning of the planet, oil shortage talk has dragged on so many decades among the Anglosphere elites, and has even migrated with the oil importing habit to China and India, that we can only expect fantasy and reality to come in double dollop servings. The key number will surely be the barrel price - noting again that Goldman Sachs, nearly 6 months ago on Sept 15, 2011 set its target price for 2012: $130 for Brent, $126.50 for WTI.

Overshoot would be second nature for the gung-ho mob of traders playing the pinwheel-and-casino gambling saloons, called markets, and we could hit $150 per barrel: probable middle class reaction will be one big yawn, after ritual moaning but the Anglosphere elites are stressed. They are not sure and certain at what sticker price level the middle classes flip out and do strange things - like use a bicycle or public transport, or share cars with their neighbors. Anything is possible and anything possible of that sort, reducing the number of cars on the road, is an awesome challenge to the business as usual of always, but always, using more oil and whining about how much it costs !

By Andrew McKillop


Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2012 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Johan Lantz
04 Mar 12, 09:49
No global warming?

Billions of years of sunlight energy conserved in the form of oil have been let out in to the atmosphere during the last 100 years. Is this a true statement?

Where did all this energy go?

Is there a slight possibility it could have something to do with polar ice melting?

I'm no scientist so please keep the answers simple. If you can't answer these questions I'm gonna go ahead and keep believing in global warming.

Also, could it be that electric vehicles made sense in other parts of the world outside of the US, Nordic countries in Europe, Sweden for instance where gasoline is 140% more expensive than the US, and energy comes mainly from hydro?

04 Mar 12, 22:42
The glowing rock in the sky

You can believe whatever you want but the glowing rock in the sky affects us more than burning oil. The earths climate has changed hotter and colder before man ever burned any oil. Its just people's arrogance that they have much effect on the climate. Buy your electric car that get power from burning coal, makes perfect sense

Johan Lantz
06 Mar 12, 06:32
Still waiting..

I most certainly will buy an electric vehicle when I can afford, and since I live in Sweden IT WILL NOT GET POWER FROM BURNING COAL!

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